Monday, December 4, 2017 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews
Federal law enforcement officials seized multiple guns and ammunition from the Melrose Park home of a suspected drug dealer, according to a Dec. 4 statement released by the Department of Justice.
Authorities alleged that Jose Mendoza, 53, illegally sold four rifles and 10 rounds of ammunition to an undercover law enforcement official in the parking lot of a Melrose Park fitness center on Nov. 21, according to court documents.
Federal authorities arrested Mendoza and two co-defendants on Nov. 30, after they tried purchasing two kilograms of cocaine from the undercover official in the parking lot of a Northlake home improvement store, court records show.
According to court documents, the defendants tried paying $57,000 in cash for the cocaine. The money was in a hidden compartment in the trunk of a BMW X6 that was driven by one of the defendants, law enforcement officials said.
Authorities claim that, during the attempted drug deal, Mendoza was in possession of a handgun in his jacket pocket. When law enforcement officials searched Mendoza’s Melrose Park home after the attempted drug deal, they found another handgun, two rifles, five shotguns and ammunition, according to court documents.
Mendoza was charged with possession of a firearm during a drug trafficking crime. He and his two co-defendants — Miguel Pineda, 48, of River Grove, and Alejandro Sandoval, 25, of Waukegan, were also charged with conspiracy to possess cocaine with the intent to distribute.
Pineda and Sandoval appeared in federal court for a hearing on Dec. 4. A hearing for Mendoza is scheduled for Dec. 7.
Federal authorities said that the Schiller Park Police Department and Elgin Police Department both “provided valuable assistance.”
The three co-defendants’ charges range from 40 years to life in prison. VFP
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