Seven arrested, jailed in alleged Naperville drug ring

Four Naperville residents and three others face trial in connection with narcotics sales they allegedly conducted from an apartment complex in the east-central part of Naperville.

The charges were announced Friday in a joint statement from DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert B. Berlin, Naperville Police Chief Robert W. Marshall and Jack Riley, special agent-in-charge of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s Chicago Field Division.

Drug conspiracy and sales charges were filed “as the result of a four-month-long investigation into an alleged drug ring operating out of a Naperville apartment complex,” the statement read in part. The complex in question is Naper Trails, on the 400 block of East Bailey Road.

Those arrested included Bernice Coleman, 53; Jerome Powell, 61; and Tretepfone Pryor, 21, all of whom live in Naper Trails; Kortney Martez, 32, of the nearby 500 block of Kiowa Drive; Antonio Ervin, 25, of Aurora; Paris Miller, 19, of Plainfield; and Mack Jones, 55, of Maywood. All are accused of dealing heroin, crack cocaine and marijuana.

Associate DuPage County Circuit Court Judge Elizabeth W. Sexton on Friday set bail for Coleman and Powell at $1 million each. Both are charged with calculated criminal drug conspiracy, a Class X Felony which carries a mandatory sentence of 6 to 30 years in prison upon conviction.

Bail was set at $300,000 for Ervin and $200,000 for Miller. Each has been charged with possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver.

Sexton set bail for Pryor and Martez at $50,000. They are charged with felony delivery of marijuana.

Jones, like Coleman and Powell, is charged with calculated criminal drug conspiracy, and is expected to appear soon in a bond court, the release stated.

Agents of the DuPage Metropolitan Enforcement Group, Illinois State Police and the FBI also participated in the investigation.

“While we have made progress in our fight against heroin and other dangerous street drugs, the charges against these defendants confirms that we still have more work to do” Berlin said in the statement. “With this in mind, I would like to stress that this investigation continues, and I anticipate the filing of further charges before we conclude.”

Riley said heroin and other narcotics are “not just an inner-city problem. It’s here in Naperville, and it’s in your community, too.”

“Our top priority is dismantling these drug-trafficking organizations (that) peddle their poison in our communities,” Riley said. “But we can’t do it alone. We need parents, teachers, coaches and faith-based practitioners to get involved and do their part, too.”

Marshall added this and other “successful efforts directed at persons in the drug distribution business involved the cooperation of many law enforcement agencies, and have resulted in Naperville being a safer community today.”

Naperville police several years ago had a satellite station operating at Naper Trails. It aimed in large part to foster better relations between tenants and police.

Most of those charged in the case are scheduled to appear July 29 in court.

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