LITCHFIELD — Nearly a pound of heroin headed from Chicago to St. Louis on Interstate 55 near Litchfield was intercepted by authorities, when the man transporting it was stopped for speeding in Montgomery County.
The motorist, who resides in the Chicagoland area, is alleged to have been in possession of 439 grams of heroin and 42 grams of cannabis, when his car was stopped for speeding on Tuesday evening, according to the Illinois State Police District 18 in Litchfield.
“That’s a large amount of heroin for the central Illinois area, worth nearly $44,000 on the street,” stated Interim District 18 Commander Lt. Timothy Tyler.
The vehicle initially fled the traffic stop and then pulled back over on its own accord a couple miles down the interstate. The ISP reports the trooper who stopped the motorist suspected something of an illegal nature may have been discarded from the vehicle while it was fleeing, and requested a K9 unit help search the two miles of interstate. The drugs, bundled in zip-lock and vacuum sealed bags, were found by a Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office K-9 along the shoulder and right side ditch of the interstate just ½ mile from where the individual was first stopped.
“There were several indicators of criminal activity, which caused the trooper to look beyond just the speeding violation,” Tyler said. “Our officer is to be commended for his follow-up in searching such a large area, thinking critically and ultimately removing a large amount of a very dangerous drug from the streets.”
Montgomery County State’s Attorney Chris Matoush said he knows the devastation heroin is causing in central Illinois all too well.
“Heroin is a very popular drug, devastating families regularly in our area as well as the entire state of Illinois,” Matoush said. “My office will aggressively pursue these types of cases and fight for severe penalties, to include lengthy sentences in the Illinois Department of Corrections.”
Matoush officially charged the motorist with possession of heroin, possession of cannabis 30 to 500 grams, speeding 11- to 14-mph over the limit, fleeing and attempting to elude a police officer and failure to signal when required. The defendant was ordered held on $150,000 bond regarding the list of criminal charges, and if convicted, faces up to a maximum of 40 years in prison.