On Nov. 13, 2012, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the DuPage County Metropolitan Enforcement Group, the North Central Narcotics Task Force, the Illinois State Police, the DuPage County State's Attorney's Office and Kane County State's Attorney's Office concluded a three month investigation into cannabis trafficking with the seizure of 598 pounds of cannabis and the arrests of five suspects.
During September of 2012, law enforcement personnel received information of a cannabis trafficking organization based out of Kane and McHenry Counties. The organization was allegedly responsible for transporting hundreds of pounds of cannabis from Arizona to Illinois. Agents from the above listed agencies conducted surveillance on the suspects and obtained additional information regarding the operation. Agents were able to determine the schedule of the group and learned of the next shipment of cannabis.
Over several days in November, agents conducted surveillance on the group of suspects as they traveled from Arizona back to Illinois. Agents followed the suspects who were traveling in four separate vehicles and on Nov. 13 at approximately 8 p.m. conducted simultaneous traffic stops on the vehicles in Kane County.
One vehicle (2008 Toyota Camry) was stopped at the intersection of Jericho Road and State Route 47 in Sugar Grove. The other three vehicles (2009 Lexus ES330, 2008 Buick LaCrosse, 2009 Chevrolet Tahoe) were stopped on Orchard Road just north of Prairie Street in Aurora. At that time, seven subjects were detained.
A K-9 sniff was conducted on the vehicles and the K-9 alerted on two of them (Camry and Lexus). A subsequent search of the vehicles resulted in the seizure of approximately 598 pounds of cannabis combined from both vehicles. In addition to the evidence seized from the traffics stops, Agents conducted searches of two homes associated with the suspects: the 300 block of Nebraska Street in Elburn and the 2700 block of Sperry Court in Batavia. Agents seized three firearms from the residence on Sperry Court.
The following four suspects were charged with 1) Cannabis Trafficking, Class X Felony; 2) Unlawful Possession of Cannabis with Intent to Deliver (more than 5000 grams), Class X Felony; 3) Unlawful Possession of Cannabis (more than 5000 grams), Class 1 Felony
- Richard G. Ecklund, 48, 2700 block of Sperry Court, Batavia
- Dean A. Dziuba, 55, 1100 block of Lodgepole Court, Darien
- Matthew A. Westerlin, 28, 300 block of Nebraska Street, Elburn
- Crystal L. Westerlin, 29, 300 block of Nebraska Street, Elburn
Additionally, the following suspect was charged with Cannabis Trafficking, Class X Felony:
- Mary L. Nunez, 57, 2700 block of Sperry Court, Batavia
On Nov. 14, all five subjects appeared in Kane County Court for a bond hearing. Ecklund's bond was set at $35 million, the remaining four subjects bonds were set at $27 million.
Three subjects were released pending further investigation. Additional charges related to the seized firearms are currently pending.
The chargea against the subjects are not a proof of guilt. The defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial, in which it is the state’s burden to prove his or her guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.