2 get prison in Naperville meth case

What started with a routine traffic stop for texting while driving led to a record, million-dollar DuPage County methamphetamine seizure, and ended with two men being sentenced Monday to 12 years in prison for their roles in that smuggling attempt.

Jesus A. Rubio and Edgardo Y. Rodriguez-Sanchez pleaded guilty Monday to amended, Class X felony charges of delivery or possession with intent to deliver 15 but less than 100 grams of methamphetamine, said Paul Darrah, spokesman for DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert B. Berlin. Class X felony charges carry mandatory sentences of six to 30 years in prison upon conviction.

Rubio, 26, and Rodriguez-Sanchez, 21, both of Des Moines, Iowa, were arrested in October 2012 on Naperville’s far northwest side, after a Naperville police officer saw Rubio commit several traffic violations, including that of sending a text message while driving.

Both men had originally been charged with Class X felony counts of delivery or possession with intent to deliver 900 or more grams of methamphetamine. Companion, Class X charges of methamphetamine trafficking that had been filed against both men were dismissed, as were four traffic violations on Rubio’s part.

DuPage County Circuit Court Judge George J. Bakalis, who presided over the case, sentenced Rubio and Rodriguez-Sanchez to prison. Additionally, a hold has been placed on Rodriguez-Sanchez by officials of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency. Both men remain in DuPage County Jail.

Rubio and Rodriguez-Sanchez were arrested about 12:25 p.m. on Oct. 23, 2012 by a police officer who was routinely patrolling the area of North Aurora Road and Route 59. The officer ticketed Rubio for driving his truck while using an electronic communication device, or texting, as well as driving with a defective or obstructed windshield, following another vehicle too closely and driving without insurance.

The officer also brought out his canine partner, Sabek, to examine the truck’s exterior. The dog’s reactions led the officer to conclude the pickup was carrying contraband.

Darrah last year said, after obtaining permission from Rubio, the officer “discovered 19, one-pound bags of methamphetamine hidden underneath a pile of shingles in the bed of the truck. In all, 9,847 grams methamphetamine were recovered, with a street value of approximately $990,000.”

Sabek, 9, was euthanized in February following an illness. His human counterparts earlier this month conducted a memorial service for him.

Berlin in October said the seizure was “by far the largest methamphetamine bust we have ever had in DuPage County.”

“Enriching their own lives at the expense of others is a drug dealer’s way of life,” Berlin said. “They continue to be a thorn in the side of society, operating with complete disregard for our communities and the lives of our children.”

Berlin saluted police “for their outstanding work on this case.”