3 arrests made in Will County in connection with federal drug investigation

Tomas Aguirre (left), Consuelo Aguirre-Recendiz and Victor Gutierrez-Barajas.

Three people have been arrested in connection with an investigation by Joliet police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation that resulted in the seizure of over 1,500 grams of cocaine and over $160,000 in cash, police said.

Tomas Aguirre, 41, of Joliet, Victor Gutierrez-Barajas, 32, of Rockdale and Consuelo Aguirre-Recendiz, 52, of Homer Glen, taken to the Will County jail on Wednesday. They are facing several felony charges as part of the investigation.

In a statement, Joliet police Sgt. Dwayne English said it was a “multi-year narcotics investigation” initiated by the narcotics unit at the Joliet Police Department. It was unclear how long the investigation had been ongoing.

Aguirre, Gutierrez-Barajas and Aguirre-Recendiz were arrested by Joliet police and federal authorities, police said.

In response to questions about the arrest, English said, “Unfortunately, I am unable to provide any further information as this is a federal narcotics investigation.”

Tomas Aguirre

FBI officials in Chicago refused to provide further information about the arrests and recommended contacting Joliet police for further information.

On April 28, a grand jury indicted Aguirre and Gutierrez-Barajas on charges of unlawful calculated criminal drug conspiracy and other drug-related offenses that occurred between 2019 and 2021.

Victor Gutierrez-Barajas

Aguirre was charged with using a secret compartment in his Nissan Pathfinder to conceal illegal drugs.

Two other defendants are named in the indictment, but they were not listed in the county jail and their cases appeared sealed from public view as of Friday.

The indictment alleged that Aguirre, Gutierrez-Barajas and other “co-conspirators” were engaged in numerous activities as part of a conspiracy, such as storing drugs in a vehicle in a garage in Will County and traveling to Mexico from Illinois as a “member of a conspiracy in furtherance of the conspiracy.”

The indictment accused Aguirre, Gutierrez-Barajas and other “co-conspirators” with “making or receiving phone calls from Mexico or having discussions to obtain additional controlled substances.”

In another indictment filed April 28, Aguirre-Recendiz was charged with solicitation of money laundering by calling Aguirre by phone and encouraging him to transfer cash obtained from the sale of narcotics to herself.

Consuelo Aguirre-Recendiz

The indictment alleged “such a transfer was designed at least in part to conceal the nature, location, source, ownership or control” of the cash.

Judge Ken Zelazo sealed the indictments on April 28 and they were unsealed on Thursday, according to court records.