Police bust alleged dial-up drug ring

April 15, 2010 5:27:44 PM PDT
Authorities have charged 32 people in connection with an alleged suburban drug trafficking ring.

Prosecutors say customers phoned in their orders for cocaine. The arrests include more than two dozen alleged customers.

Authorities say the drug ring was in operation for about 10 years.

Hector Cortez, the organization's leader, is accused of being the kingpin. Police say the 40-year-old's arrest along with six co-conspirators puts a big dent in suburban drug trafficking.

"We were told Hector Cortez has been operating for 10 years now. His customer base is probably up to 100 people a day. And their profits from that alone I believe were tens of thousands ofdollars per week," said Commander Kenneth Galinski, Arlington Heights Police Dept.

Cortez's arrest is the result of an eight-month investigation by the Arlington Heights Police Department, several suburban departments, the DEA, and Cook County state's attorney office. All conducted a two-day sweep this week where 26 customers were arrested, and cash, drugs and vehicles were seized. Officials called the organization "Dial-A-Rock" based in Jalisco, Mexico.

"The investigation revealed that the Jalisco,Mexico-based organization was utilizing a dial-up service where a call by a customer would result in a street dealer being dispatched to various locations throughout the northwest suburbs," said Capt. Richard Neidrich, Arlington Heights Police Dept.

Despite the arrests and seizures, police say that drug trafficking in the suburbs remains a big business.

"I personally believe that there is more going on that we're unaware of, but I think this is going to put, like I say, a good dent in it. And the information we got from this, I think we can further the investigation," said Commander Galinski.

Arlington Heights police say drug traffickers come to the suburbs because they think they can hide there.

A judge gave Cortez $1 million cash bond which means he will have to pay the entire amount.