Braidwood PD lead the way in major drug bust

Staff Report

The Braidwood Police targeted illegal drugs sales during a narcotics sweep with regional and federal law enforcement agencies on Thursday, Oct. 19.

The Braidwood Police Department rounded up 14 individuals on drug charges in a narcotics sweep that also involved investigations involving the Federal Drug Enforcement Administration, the Metropolitan Area Narcotics Squad, The Will County Sheriff’s Department, Wilmington Police Department, Grundy County Sheriff’s Department, Channahon Police, Elwood Police, and Livingston County Pro-Active Narcotics Unit assisted in the arrest sweep. Braidwood Fire Department also provided support during the operation.

Officers from these agencies fanned out early Thursday morning to begin making arrests after obtaining warrants stemming from undercover narcotics investigations that began more than three monthd ago, said Braidwood Police Chief Nick Ficarello.

The arrest warrants and charges allege the defendants sold illegal narcotics, including heroin and cocaine, during undercover investigations in and around Braidwood. Felony charges range from Class 3 (2 to 5 years in prison/probation upon conviction) to Class 1 (4-15 years in prison/probation upon conviction).

Braidwood Police have been working with federal and regional narcotics agencies for the last several years to target and reduce the illegal sale of narcotics in the community of roughly 6,500 residents. Heroin, which has caused overdose deaths across the Nation at epidemic levels, is of particular concern to Chief Ficarello, Braidwood Mayor James Vehrs, and Public Safety Commissioner Eric Tessler.

The sweep marks an intensified commitment by this administration to tirelessly combat this nation-wide epidemic. Braidwood vows to serve as an example to the nation that the resolve of small Midwestern communities, working together, can turn the tide.

Charged in Thursday’s narcotics sweep with unlawful delivery of controlled substance were:

Craig A. Tenns, 32, Jacob Whiteford, 21, Timothy Keck, 42, Kevin Made, 26, Georgenna Brainard, 32, Mitchell A. Tousignant, 30, Ashley Ramsey, 19, Sean Baron, 23, Alexis E. Andrews, 23, Cheyene N. Cassineri, 19, Laci Lopez, 18, Sean Decker, 23, Charles T. Kunkel Jr., 47, Breanne R. Bormet, 37, and Benjamin J. Hakey, 41.

Additional arrests for current warrants resulted from the sweep: Tiffany L. Miller, 34, Matthew R Swanson, 27.

Furthermore, during the sweep a crystal meth lab was also discovered and dismantled.

The Braidwood Police Department reminds the public that charges are not evidence of guilt. A defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.