Lucas Mendiola of Santa Ana Busted on Illinois Highway with 16.8 Pounds of Heroin: Troopers

A Santa Ana man was arrested Thursday on Interstate 80 in Henry County, Illinois, for possessing what state troopers believe was 16.8 pounds of brown heroin.

Lucas Mendiola, 36, was the lone occupant in a SUV that was the second vehicle pulled over on that stretch of I-80 in less than a month that contained a large quantity of street drugs, according to authorities.

Courtesy of Illinois State Troopers
Lucas Mendiola

Mendiola was pulled over around 1:10 p.m. for following a vehicle too closely in the Silver Lexus SUV he was driving on eastbound Interstate 80 near Mile Marker 20, about one mile east of Geneseo, Ill. The heroin turned up after a search of the vehicle.

Quad-City Times has the scoop.

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Mendiola was arrested on suspicion of possession of a controlled substance, possession with intent to deliver and trafficking and held at the Henry County Jail on $500,000 bond.

Troopers on Aug. 22 made what they believed at the time was the largest heroin seizure in Illinois history after another Henry County traffic stop. Tests later revealed they'd snagged 35 pounds of ecstasy with a street value between $4 million and $8 million.

While authorities are sure it was heroin in the SUV, they wanted to await further testing before guestimating a street value.


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