Agents Who Busted Drug Cartel Honored

By King, Jason | Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), May 9, 2006 | Go to article overview

Agents Who Busted Drug Cartel Honored


King, Jason, Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)


Byline: Jason King Daily Herald Staff Writer

Round Lake Beach officials honored a cadre of police and law enforcement agents on Monday for their efforts in disrupting an area drug cartel.

The work began in earnest in 2002, with the Chicago office of the Drug Enforcement Agency and ended in 2005 with the convictions of five area men on drug and violent offenses charges.

Round Lake Beach police Chief Doug Larsson said on Monday that the combined efforts of many different agencies ended a "reign of terror" that was led by Martin Valadez, who is now serving two life sentences plus 10 years.

"Prior to 2004, for over a decade the Round Lake area had been riddled with gang activities," he said. "In the height of the mayhem, criminal defacements, gang intimidations, arsons, stabbings and shootings were a common occurrence. It is estimated that over 50 percent of all violent crimes emanated from an organization led by Martin Valadez."

The village honored DEA agent Dave Brazeo and Assistant U.S. Attorneys James Barz and Jack Blakey for their efforts, as well as the investigators within its own department who helped convict Valadez and four others to sentences between nine and 17 years. …

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