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Police Sting Lands 600 Pounds of Marijuana in Batavia, Elburn and Other Areas

A handful of local residents are charged. Here's how the bust went down.

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.

Sherry November 27, 2012 at 04:19 PM
Legalization justifies use and leads to abuse, we need not look further than alcohol & gambling for proof. We cannot loosen our laws to meet the habits of those with the lowest most self serving standards. Promises of income from taxation off of a substance quickly turns into a state dependent upon the taxation income. What follows is a dire NEED for a society of consistent users and to crank out NEW users. Easy accessibility hastens the complete mediocracy of our nation's intelligence. Marijuana might not rot the liver as does alcohol, but it is not "good" for the body. It rots the brain! Your argument Martha that we're losing the war, so if we can't beat them join them, makes my stomach ache. Obviously, your 24 year old habit has caused you to not see the big picture here. Its not about money or criminals, its about what kind of society do we want? Think of all the new laws...driving while stoned, how high is too high? Returning to military base high and having access to weapons. I see so many problems. I think your focus is myopic.
Martha Hanna November 27, 2012 at 04:35 PM
Thanks Sherry for not quoting the scriptures to me again...yes our society is evil and no I don't want kids to get hooked on drugs. The US is losing the war on drugs, do you really want to keep paying taxes on this war to make politicans and drug cartels to get richer than they already are?? And yes alcohol and gambling are bad but look at the revenue we get from that. Springfield will be voting again to expand gambling in Illinois to get us out of debt..great! I was a dealer on the boat in Aurora for 9 years I know what gambling does to people. I may be a majiuana smoker and I am out of the closet on the subject. I have never applied for any government hand out except for the Homeowner's exemption credit I get. How high is too high? Marijuana would be treated like alcohol. 21 years of age and if you drink alcohol or smoker marijuana or are abusing prescription drugs or meth or whatever you are on you get a DUI end of story.
Sherry November 27, 2012 at 04:54 PM
Lets not forget Illinois was thinking about passing a pilot program for medicinal purposes of Marijuana. You, Martha and others, have admitted you use it instead of alcohol to get a "buzz". You nor your friends would be able to legally purchase marijuana without lying so you would still be a non-violent law breaker. Hey, if someone stole money from their employers safe...that's a non-violent crime, should we just not prosecute them because it cost the taxpayers so much money?!!! Your argument is flawed! The point I make and I think those against marijuana legalization agree with is we don't want people who get high teaching our kids, being police officers, judges or firemen or in the military. We don't want people who get high driving a vehicle. We don't want our kids going over to their friend's homes to play being watched by a mom who is high. So we like the law as it is, it seems to be working because as you put it there are a LOT of people in jail for abusing this law. We don't loosen a law because too many people are in jail. I come from AZ where Sherrif Joe saves the taxpayers money by putting convicts in tents and gives them pink underware to wear and bologna to eat daily. You want to save some money? There are ways! And those ways don't make the road easier for law breakers. The point of jail is to not just protect citizens but to instill a desire in the convict to never break a law again; avoiding future time in jail.
Martha Hanna November 27, 2012 at 05:11 PM
Sherry once again we agree to disagree...I feel like your argument is flawed and 70% of the USA is with me on this one. Legalize and tax.
Anonymous November 30, 2012 at 12:05 PM
At least one of these people should be remorseful for choosing a path that led to the word felony being attached to his grandfather's name. -A surprised relative.

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