Thirty one individuals have been charged with conspiracy and heroin sales in connection with an alleged drug ring spanning Cook and DuPage counties, according to a news release from the DuPage County State's Attorney's Office.
Among those taken into custody Aug. 27 as part of a larger sweep of arrests are:
• Steven Phillips, 37, Hillside • Jonathan Kosloske, Glendale Heights • Joseph Scarpelli, 34, Glen Ellyn • Wendy Scarpelli, 34, Glen Ellyn • Michael Roder, 29, Hanover Park • Vanessa Hernandez, 25, Naperville
Those arrested face various drug trafficking charges, the release said. Seventeen suspects were also charged with violating the state's new Street Gang and Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Law, or RICO.
Under RICO, those charged with drug trafficking face much stiffer penalties if it can be proven that their individual illegal activities were part of a larger criminal conspiracy that involved others and was conducted over a period of time, according to the release.
The arrests were the result of a six month investigation by the State’s Attorney’s Office, Drug Enforcement Administration, Illinois State Police, DuMeg (DuPage Metropolitan Enforcement Group) and more than a dozen local law enforcement agencies, the release said.
Editor's Note: A name previously listed as one of those taken into custody for the alleged drug ring has been removed. The DuPage County State's Attorney's Office mistakenly identified the person.