Aurora man pleads guilty to drug trafficking charges

An Aurora man has been sentenced to more than 19 years in prison for trafficking heroin and cocaine in the west suburbs.

Gabriel Aguilar-Velez, 31, pleaded guilty to possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver, according to a statement from Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul’s office.

In exchange for his plea, Aguilar-Rivera was sentenced to 19 years and six months in the Illinois Department of Corrections, prosecutors said.

Gabriel Aguilar-Velez | Kane County sheriff’s office

Aguilar was charged in July 2017 with conspiring with Juan Carlos Rivera-Arroyo, 35, and Israel Tavizon, 36, to “distribute large amounts of cocaine and heroin in Kane County,” prosecutors said.

“Drug dealers are a threat to every community,” Kane County State’s Attorney Joe McMahon said in the statement. “Cocaine is the substance involved in most drug arrests in Kane County, and 135 people have died from opioid overdoes in Kane County the last two years.”

The investigation started in June 2017 after Homeland Security Investigations and FBI agents pulled Tavizon over while he was driving a truck carrying a tire for a semi, the attorney general’s office said. Investigators found more than 11 kg each of heroin and cocaine hidden inside the tire.

Aguilar-Velez remains in custody at the Kane County Adult Justice Center, where he has been held on $2 million bail since his arrest, according to Kane County sheriff’s office inmate records.

Rivera-Arroyo was previously sentenced to 19 years in prison, while Tavizon was sentenced to 19 years and six months, prosecutors said.

Both men are serving their sentences at the Shawnee Correctional Center, according to Illinois Department of Corrections records.

Israel Tavizon (left) and Juan Carlos Rivera-Arroyo | Illinois Department of Corrections

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