Ill. man stopped in Conn. with $1M of heroin, police say

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A Chicago man is under arrest in Connecticut after state police there say they found him with $1 million worth of heroin during a traffic stop. (WLS)

An ABC7 I-Team Investigation
A Chicago man is under arrest in Connecticut after state police there say they found him with $1 million worth of heroin during a traffic stop.

When Connecticut State Police pulled over the car with Illinois plates, for the driver Jose Adorno, it quickly became an un-routine traffic stop. Adorno is now in a Connecticut lockup on $1 million bond, which is also the street value of the heroin that authorities say they found in his backpack.

The Toyota Camry with Illinois plates whizzed by state troopers in Connecticut on Merritt Parkway along the state's famed Gold Coast, a scenic parkway more famous for fall foliage drives than illicit drugs.

But when police curbed 50-year-old Adorno of Chicago Tuesday afternoon, they say drug sniffing dogs found 11 wrapped packages in his backpack.

The heroin's total weight was more than 28 pounds, police said.

Amorno appearing in Connecticut Superior Court today, on charges of possession with intent to sell. He was 850 miles away from his home in west Humboldt Park but investigators haven't said why he had driven to Connecticut or the destination of the drugs.

However, heroin use has tripled in Connecticut in recent years and the state now has the third-highest number of deaths from opiates and heroin in the United States.

A large portion of the heroin that has flooded east coast markets comes from Mexico and is smuggled from the southwest by rail or truck to northern Illinois and then distributed through Chicago drug lanes.

Even at age 50, suspect Adorno is far from the world's oldest drug mule. That exaltation is reserved for Leo Sharp from Michigan City, Indiana. Sharp started running drugs for the Sinaloa cartel when he was 86 years old, and got away with it for several years, hauling more than 1,000 pounds mostly cocaine-from the Mexico border to the Midwest. Age 89 when he was arrested by Michigan State Police, Sharp pleaded guilty and was sentenced to prison, despite claiming debilitating dementia. He was released early last summer and currently resides in Michigan City but still holds the title of world's oldest drug mule.

Police say Adorno provided an address on Hamlin Avenue in Chicago, between Grand and North. Neither his attorney nor the prosecutor in Connecticut were reachable late Wednesday and state police investigators there said they had no further information.
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