Medical call at Sherman Ave and N Sunset Ave in Rockford for a man who has fallen and was bleeding from the mouth. Emergency personnel are en route. Please avoid the area.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Two Suburban Chicago Residents Charged with Illegally Selling Narcotics Over the Internet; Law Enforcement Seizes Websites
CHICAGO — Two suburban Chicago residents have been charged with federal drug offenses for illegally selling fentanyl or fentanyl precursors over the internet, and authorities have seized their websites.
LIANGFU “LARRY” HUANG used his company, Ark Pharm Inc., to sell controlled substances – including a fentanyl precursor – over the internet, despite not registering with federal or state authorities, according to a criminal complaint and affidavit filed in federal court in Chicago. Ark Pharm, which is based in Arlington Heights, Ill., offered various drugs for sale on its website (http://www.arkpharminc.com (link is external)). Huang, 53, of Northbrook, Ill., was arrested Wednesday night after arriving at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago on a flight from China. He is charged with one count of conspiracy to knowingly and intentionally possess with intent to distribute, and to distribute, a controlled substance.
In a related case, WEI XU, also known as “Scarlett Hsu,” used her company, 1717 CheMall Corp., to illegally sell fentanyl and other controlled substances without registering with federal or state authorities, according to the complaint against her. 1717 CheMall Corp., which is based in Mundelein, Ill., offered various drugs for sale on its website (http://www.1717chem.com (link is external)), including the opioids ocfentanil, oxycodone and hydrocodone, the complaint states. Visitors to the website could search for a drug and order it from the site’s “estore,” the complaint states. Xu, 52, of Vernon Hills, Ill., was arrested Wednesday. She is charged with one count of knowingly distributing a controlled substance.
Also Wednesday, law enforcement agents carried out court-authorized searches of Ark Pharm’s and 1717 CheMall’s businesses and seized their websites.
The charges were announced by Attorney General Jeff Sessions; John R. Lausch, Jr., United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; Brian McKnight, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Field Division of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration; and Gabriel L. Grchan, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division in Chicago. Valuable assistance was provided by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration; U.S. Customs and Border Protection; Mundelein, Ill., Police Department; Arlington Heights, Ill., Police Department; Skokie, Ill., Police Department; Northern Illinois Police Alarm System (NIPAS); and Weapons of Mass Destruction Special Response Team North.
“Synthetic opioids killed 20,000 Americans in 2016–more than any other kind of drug,” said Attorney General Sessions. “The vast majority of these drugs originated in China and then either shipped through the mail or smuggled across our porous Southwest Border. Under President Trump’s strong leadership, the Justice Department has taken historic new steps to target Chinese drug traffickers, and today’s indictments are our next step. I want to thank DEA, U.S. Attorney John Lausch, Assistant U.S. Attorney Devlin Su, our partners with CBP, IRS, and the FDA and especially our state and local law enforcement partners who helped make this possible. The Department of Justice will remain relentless in our efforts to keep these deadly drugs out of our country and finally put an end to this unprecedented drug epidemic.”
“The charges announced today are the result of an exhaustive and far-reaching investigation,” said U.S. Attorney Lausch. “Whether it’s online or on the streets, our office is committed to aggressively stopping the flow of illegal drugs.”
“Powerful pharmaceutical medications, fentanyl and fentanyl-related substances are creating a chokehold on our society,” said Special Agent-in-Charge McKnight. “Today’s enforcement actions send a clear message to those who utilize the internet to poison our communities: We will find you and you will be held accountable.”
“There is no room in the Chicagoland area for the illegal selling of fentanyl and other pharmaceuticals,” said Special Agent-in-Charge Grchan. “IRS Criminal Investigation is committed to using its resources and financial expertise to partner with all law enforcement agencies in order to keep our communities safe from the illegal distribution and usages of these and other dangerous drugs.”
Huang and Xu appeared today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Mary M. Rowland, who ordered them to remain in federal custody. A detention hearing is set for June 5, 2018, at 11:00 a.m.
According to the complaint, authorities at the U.S. border seized a dozen packages of crystal meth and other controlled substances that had been shipped from China to Ark Pharm’s headquarters. The shipments purported to contain routine goods such as plastic toys. From November 2016 to earlier this month, law enforcement surreptitiously corresponded with email accounts belonging to Ark Pharm, and conducted five undercover purchases of controlled substances from the company. The drugs were shipped via FedEx, often with Huang’s name listed as the sender, the complaint states.
Authorities performed similar controlled purchases of narcotics at 1717 CheMall Corp. from August 2017 to earlier this month. During the ordering process, agents corresponded via email and phone with Xu, who was using her “Scarlett Hsu” alias, according to the complaint. The drugs from 1717 CheMall were shipped via FedEx, with Xu’s name listed as the sender, the charges allege.
The public is reminded that a complaint contains only charges and is not evidence of guilt. The defendants are presumed innocent and are entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. The charges against Huang and Xu each carry a maximum sentence of 20 years. If convicted, the Court must impose reasonable sentences under federal sentencing statutes and the advisory United States Sentencing Guidelines.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Devlin N. Su represents the government.
Several accidents being reported:
# 1900 block of Montague a female was hit by a vehicle. Sounds like there was a disorderly subject at the scene.
# Accident on Spring Creek right at the Auburn St bridge. A Paratransit bus was stopped at the railroad tracks and a car rear ended it, the a second vehicle rear ended the car.
# Rollover accident earlier today near N Rockton and Embury Dr. by Wesley Willows. If any witnesses to this accident, call 815-484-3165 or 815-4843467.
# Poplar Grove Rd south of Squaw Prairie there is a vehicle that crashed and is in the ditch
On Monday, May 21st, 2018 a Rockford Police Department School Resource Officer (SRO) was notified about a possible sexual assault which had occurred at a residence in the 1200 block of Chestnut Street. The information that was received indicated that a juvenile victim, under the age of 13, had been sexually assaulted by an adult male acquaintance of the family.
Detectives from the Sensitive Crimes Unit conducted a follow-up investigation and were able to identify a suspect, 24-year-old Jesus Pena Jr. of Elgin, IL. The investigation was later reviewed by the Winnebago County State’s Attorney’s Office. As a result, charges were authorized and a warrant was obtained for the suspect.
On Thursday, May 31st, 2018 Jesus Pena Jr. was arrested by detectives and later lodged in the Winnebago County Jail on his warrant for the listed charges. A photo of Jesus Pena Jr. is attached:
ARRESTED: Jesus Pena Jr. 24-years-old Elgin, IL
CHARGES: Predatory Criminal Sexual Assault (2 counts) (victim under 13)
Aggravated Criminal Sexual Abuse (4 counts) (victim under 13)
BOND: $150,000 / 10%
The charges against Jesus Pena Jr. are merely accusations and not evidence of his guilt. As with defendants in all criminal cases he is considered innocent unless proven guilty in court.
Due to the victim’s age and the nature of the incident no further details are available.
On May 28th, 2018, shortly before 5:00p.m., members of the Rockford Police Housing Authority Unit were dispatched to Rockford Memorial Hospital in reference to a battery complaint. Upon arrival, officers met with a 24-year-old male victim, suffering from numerous injuries.
The victim reported that during the early afternoon hours, he was visiting friends at a residence in the 900 block of Acorn Street. This residence is located in the Fairgrounds Valley Housing Development. Several males arrived and began to argue with the victim. During the argument, the males began battering the victim. Some concerned citizens were able to intervene. The victim was eventually transported to the hospital for treatment of his injuries.
Officers from the Rockford Police Housing Authority Unit conducted a follow-up investigation. During the investigation 26-year-old Rockford resident, Kahyal Merrills, and his twin brother, Jamaal Merrills, were developed as suspects. Officers learned that Kahyal Merrills was on parole.
The Winnebago County State’s Attorney’s Office was contacted. They authorized charges of Aggravated Battery and Mob Action against both Kahyal and Jamaal Merrills. Bond was set at $50,000. Warrants were subsequently issued.
On June 1, 2018 at 9:00a.m., Kahyal Merrills was located in the 900 block of Acorn Street. He was taken into custody at this time. He was transported to the Winnebago County Jail and lodged. Jamaal Merrills is still at-large. He is described as a black male, 5”9”, 140 pounds, black hair, and brown eyes.
This is an on-going investigation. No further information is available at this time. Anyone with information concerning the whereabouts of Jamaal Merrills is encouraged to contact the Rockford Police Department at 815-966-2900 or CrimeStoppers at 815-963-7867.
The charges against the suspects are merely accusations. They are considered innocent unless proven guilty in a court of law
On 05/30/18 the following were arrested for Ogle County Outstanding Warrants:
Bronson D Hughes, age 35, of Sterling for Failure to Appear. Hughes has a bond of $1101 and will return to court on 05/31/18 at 1:00 pm.
LLoyd W Martin, age 38, of Mt. Morris for Failure to Appear. Martin had a bond of $503. Martin did post the $503 bond and was released from the Ogle County Jail. Martin does not have to return for court.
On 05/31/18 the following were arrested for Ogle County Outstanding warrants:
Kole E. Mowry, age 19, of Oregon for Failure to Appear. Mowry had a bond of $307. Mowry received a $50 purge bond and was released from the Ogle County Jail. Mowry will have to return to court on 06/25/18 at 9:00 am.
Donovan M. Holsinger , age 39, of Byron for Failure to Appear. Holsinger had a bond of $556. Holsinger received a partial purge for $75. Holsinger was released from the Ogle County Jail. Holsinger will have to return to court on 06/25/18 at 9:00am.
Zachary Grove, age 24, of Stillman Valley was arrested for Failure to Appear. Grove had a bond of $567. Grove posted the $567 bond and was released from the Ogle County Jail. Grove does not have to return for court.
Aggravated Battery with a firearm
Date: 06/01/2018 1:06 am
Location: 2400 N. Central
On Thursday, June 1st, at approximately 1:06 A.M., Officers from the Rockford Police Department responded to 2400 N. Central Avenue, reference a shooting victim. A 31 year-old male was struck by gunfire. The victim was taken to a local hospital, where he was treated for non-life threatening injuries. There is no further information at this time.
This is an ongoing investigation. Anyone with information concerning this incident is encouraged to contact the Rockford Police Officer in Charge (OIC) at 779 500 6555, or CrimeStoppers at 815 963 STOP (7867).
Details are minimal right now.
Sources are reporting a shooting victim arrived at a local emergency room.
The victim was reported to have been shot in the chest.
No other information is available at this time.
Around 12:30 am this morning several emergency personnel were responding to a water rescue call.
It happened near the Luther Center on the Rock River.
A female was reported to be in the water.
Around 12:35 pm, she was rescued near the Davis Park area.
They are requesting medical for her.