A Chicago man is wanted by federal authorities for drug-related charges after he picked up a kilogram of heroin in Des Plaines in May, according to court documents filed by the Drug Enforcement Administration.
Anthony Santiago, 38, of Des Plaines, delivered one kilogram of heroin to Jason M. Hill, 40, of Chicago, at Santiago’s residence in the 500 block of Bellaire in Des Plaines on May 12, according to the complaint.
Santiago and Hill were under surveillance as part of a federal investigation into a drug trafficking organization with ties to Mexican nationals, stated a press release issued by the DEA on June 4. In a separate complaint, five other individuals were indicted on drug-related charges.
Hill was arrested, charged and released by Cook County after reportedly trying to outrun law enforcement in a high-speed chase that ended at Yorktown Mall in Lombard on May 12, according to court documents.
Federal agents recovered a brick of heroin wrapped in black plastic on the I-88 westbound ramp, approximately a quarter mile from where authorities conducted a traffic stop on Hill, after he picked up narcotics from Santiago’s residence, the complaint stated.
Owen Putnam, special agent for the Chicago division of the DEA, said Santiago and Hill were federally indicted on May 22.
“We didn’t want to bring it down prematurely,” Putnam said. “We wanted the investigation to continue for a period of time longer in order to complete the investigation and arrest all the participants.”
John “Jack” Riley, special agent in charge of the Chicago field division of the DEA, said the investigation into a connection between Santiago and Hill, and the individuals in the other indictment, was ongoing.
“Typically these investigations mushroom because what you’re dealing with is one source of supply for the heroin, and then, eventually, as the cases go, we deal with multiple customers,” Riley said. “And that’s pretty much the way this broke down.”
Riley said the DEA typically turns over their fugitives to the U.S. Marshals Service five days after attempting to make an arrest, so both agencies are searching for Hill.
“We’re doing everything we can,” Riley said. “I’m confident at some point he’ll be apprehended.”
According to the complaint, after leaving Santiago’s residence on May 12, law enforcement conducted a traffic stop on Hill on the I-88 westbound ramp from I-294 southbound for failing to signal a lane change.
Hill refused consent to search his car, and, according to the complaint, without warning, fled westbound on I-88, driving erratically and fast, in and out of traffic and on the shoulder.
According to the complaint, law enforcement overheard Hill tell Santiago on the phone that he threw the drugs out of the vehicle.
Hill managed to lose authorities, but was taken into custody later that day at Famous Dave’s BBQ Restaurant at Yorktown Mall in Lombard.
Hill was arrested and charged by Cook County with failure to signal, speeding, fleeing and attempting to elude police officers, according to the complaint. He appeared in court on May 14 and was released from custody.
Santiago waived his right to a preliminary hearing on June 5, and is in custody.
Authorities seized 10 handguns, three assault weapons, multiple gun magazines, a gun holster, approximately $100,000 and a Green Bay Packers Super Bowl ring from Santiago’s residence, Putnam stated. The ring has since been returned to the Packers employee who reported it stolen.
Law enforcement also found at the Bellaire residence numerous safe deposit box keys from various banks, which led to the seizure of approximately $915,000. Three vehicles were also seized: a gray Porsche Cayenne, a black Audi S4 and a black Jeep Cherokee SRT8.
The investigation, which included all seven individuals, has led to the seizure of 20 kilograms of heroin, $1.4 million, 18 weapons and jewelry, the press release stated.
“The enormity of the amount of heroin involved is alarming because it shows that clearly the Mexican cartels are very active in the heroin trade in Chicago, and we’re working as hard as we possibly can to combat that,” Riley said.
The was called to assist in the seizure of property at Santiago’s residence by opening a floor safe with forcible entry saws at 11:29 p.m. on May 21, a lesser-known service provided by the department.
“We help who we need to when we need to,” Fire Chief Alan Wax said.
Riley said they are asking the public for information on the whereabouts of Hill. Tips may be given anonymously by calling or emailing the DEA, or by contacting local police departments.