Edgardo Rodriguez-Sanchez, 20, and Jesus Rubio, 25, are behind bars after police say they were found with 19 pounds of methamphetamine in bags. Bond was set at $1 million for each man.
The two men, who live in Des Moines, Iowa, were arrested Tuesday near Route 59 and North Aurora Road following a routine traffic stop by Naperville police. The police say the suspects tried to hide the drugs under a pile of shingles. A trained police dog sniffed out the meth, according to authorities.
"I'm fairly confident that they were headed for surrogates of the cartel that are here working in the city," said Jack Riley, Special-Agent-In-Charge, DEA.
Riley says in recent weeks similar large meth busts have been happening with more frequency.
"Alongside heroin, I've often said this: if I can think of anything that is likened to a weapon of mass destruction on a family, on a community, on social services, it's methamphetamine," he said.
Meth has long been a problem in rural communities where mom-and-pop meth labs have thrived in remote areas. But Riley says what's now invading Chicago is being produced and delivered by powerful Mexican drug cartels, which have been partnering with Chicago street gangs to sell large quantities of heroin.
"Now the cartels, with their hubbing of much of their business out of the Chicago area, they're now taking an opportunity to try to get a new product on the streets," said Riley.
Illinois State Police says seizures of meth on highways has increased five-fold in recent months.
"It can be buses. They'll bring it in on rail. They'll bring it in on rental cars. We've seen motor homes," said Master Sgt. Frank Spizzirri, Illinois State Police.
"These organizations, in my opinion, are probably the most well-organized, well-financed, vicious criminal entities we've ever seen in this country," said Riley.