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The County of DuPage
Wheaton, Illinois

Press Release

Monday, June 21, 2021

Bond Set at $500,000 for Des Plaines Man Facing Multiple Drug and Weapons charges in Connection with $22 Million Cannabis Bust

DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert Berlin, Wood Dale Chief of Police Greg Vesta and Illinois State Police Director Brendan F. Kelly announced today that bond has been set for a Des Plaines man accused of multiple drug and weapons charges following a high-speed pursuit late last month. Jesser Oaxaca, 32 (d.o.b. 6/22/1988) of the 9100 block of W. Church Street, appeared at a bond hearing this morning where Judge Brian Telander set bond at $500,000 with 10% to apply. Judge Telander also granted the State’s motion for a proof-of-funds hearing for Oaxaca which will require Oaxaca to prove that any funds used to post bond were not gotten from illegal means, should he make bond. Oaxaca has been charged with one count of Cannabis Trafficking – more than 5,000 grams (Class X Felony), one count of Manufacture/Delivery of Cannabis – more than 5,000 grams (Class X Felony), one count of Aggravated Discharge of a Firearm (Class 1 Felony) and one count of Calculated Criminal Cannabis Conspiracy (Class 3 Felony). On May 30, 2021, Oaxaca’s co-defendant, Nicholas Valentino, 33, of Des Plaines, appeared in Bond Court where bond was set at $5 million full cash.

During the evening of May 27, 2021, Officers with the DuPage County Metropolitan Enforcement Group (DuMeg) were conducting surveillance at a warehouse suspected in drug activity in Wood Dale. While conducting surveillance agents observed a van and a Volkswagen leave the warehouse. It is alleged that Oaxaca was driving the van and Valentino was driving the Volkswagen. Agents continued surveillance on the vehicles into the city of Chicago before terminating surveillance. As the agents returned from Chicago, agents again saw the van, allegedly driven by Oaxaca, and began surveillance. It is alleged that while the agents pursued the van, Valentino was having a Facetime call with Oaxaca to set up an ambush of the Agents. Agents attempted to stop the van, but it did not stop. Agents continued to follow the van. While on a residential street in Wood Dale, the van flashed its headlights and then came to an abrupt stop at which time agents observed an individual, later identified as Valentino, on the street allegedly pointing a gun at them. It is alleged that Valentino fired two shots at the agents’ car. The agents reversed their car and were not hit by the gunfire. It is alleged that after firing at the agents, Valentino entered the same Volkswagen the agents conducted surveillance on earlier and fled the scene at a high rate of speed along with the van. Agents began pursuit of the two vehicles through residential areas of Wood Dale and eventually onto Route 83 where the two vehicles went in separate directions. Agents followed the Volkswagen. A short time later, the Volkswagen was involved in a vehicle crash with a Bensenville squad car and an unmarked DuMeg squad car at which time Valentino was taken into custody. Through the course of their investigation, authorities were able to identify Oaxaca as the alleged driver of the van. On June 16, 2021, Oaxaca was taken into custody and charged. On May 28, 2021, a search warrant was executed at the Wood Dale warehouse where authorities allegedly found approximately forty pallets of vacuum-sealed cannabis totaling approximately 7,688 pounds, approximately 406 pounds of cannabis edibles, 6,891 THC cartridges and more than 700 grams psilocybin mushroom bars. The estimated street value of the cannabis recovered in the warehouse is approximately $22,000,000. Authorities also recovered more than $107,000, an AK-47 and 9 mm ammunition.

“The allegations that Mr. Oaxaca and his co-defendant were in possession of more than four tons of cannabis and cannabis edibles is proof positive that the cannabis black market is alive and well,” Berlin said. “The fact that these defendants were apprehended and charged however, is also proof positive that by working collaboratively, law enforcement agencies throughout the Chicagoland area are ready, willing and able to put these illegal drug dealers out of business. I thank all the agencies involved in this case whose efforts led to the removal of a tremendous amount of marijuana from our streets. I would also like to thank Assistant State’s Attorneys Demetri Demopoulos, Matthew Dambach and Claudia Fantauzzo for their efforts in preparing strong cases against both Mr. Oaxaca and Mr. Valentino.”

“The Illinois State Police, along with DuMeg and our other partners in law enforcement, continue to bring violent drug traffickers to face justice,” stated ISP Director Brendan F. Kelly.  “These partnerships are imperative, and we will continue these cooperative efforts to ensure the safety of the communities we serve.”  

“We appreciate the cooperation and teamwork displayed by all those involved to bring accountability to those allegedly involved in this crime,” Vesta said. “We will continue to employ these partnerships whenever necessary to serve and protect our residents.”

Oaxaca ‘s next court date is scheduled for July 21, 2021, for arraignment in front of Judge Telander. Valentino’s next court date is scheduled for July 21, 2021, for a status hearing.

Members of the public are reminded that this complaint contains only charges and is not proof of the defendants’ guilt. The defendants are presumed innocent and are entitled to a fair trial in which it is the government’s burden to prove their guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.