On Saturday, 9/17/16, around 11:20pm, Will County Sheriff's Deputy Brett Bartunek and his K9 partner, Sem, were traveling east bound on Interstate 80 near Larkin Avenue (Joliet Township) when Deputy Bartunek observed a 2007 Dodge Caliber with no registration lights and making illegal lane changes. Deputy Bartunek initiated a traffic stop and spoke to the driver, Javier Gomez-Mendoza, age 58, of North Glen, Colorado. Gomez-Mendoza advised that he was traveling to visit his daughter in Boston. A second deputy arrived on the scene and while completing a status check of Gomez-Mendoza's Mexican driver's license, Deputy Bartunek had Sem perform a sniff test of the vehicle. Sem alerted to a probable presence of narcotics in the rear-side of the vehicle. Gomez-Mendoza gave deputies permission to search the vehicle at which time Deputy Bartunek observed several suspici0us markings on the aftermarket muffler.
Gomez-Mendoza and the Dodge Caliber were then relocated to the Sheriff's Office, Laraway Road Station. Deputies placed the vehicle on a lift and Deputy Bartunek allowed K9 Sem to access the bottom of the undercarriage. Sem again alerted to probable narcotics in the muffler area. The muffler was inspected further where deputies found it to have mud on it, but did not observe any other mud underneath the vehicle. The muffler also had suspicious weld markings and uneven paint filler in various areas. It was determined that narcotics were consealed inside the muffler and it was removed from the vehicle. Located inside were three bricks of Heroin with a total weight of 3.4 kilograms and six packages of Methamphetamine with a total weight of over 2.8 kilograms. The narcotics packaging had been covered in black pepper in an unsuccessful attempt to disguise the odor.
Javier Gomez-Mendoza was charged with possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver. He is being held at the Adult Detention Facility where he will appear in bond court today at 1:30pm. -end-