6 Charged with Drug Trafficking Operation, Shipping Meth from California to Chicago
CHICAGO — Sheila G. Lyons, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration Chicago Field Division, and Acting U.S. Attorney Morris Pasqual for the Northern District of Illinois announced that a federal grand jury has indicted five Chicago area residents and one California resident with a drug trafficking conspiracy for both shipping methamphetamine through the mail and distributing methamphetamine in and around Chicago.
Charged in the indictment under count one are Stephen R. Jenkins, 44, of Chicago, Keith R. McCormick, also known as “Keith Lopez”, 51, of Sacramento, California, Daniel Heise, 40, of Chicago, Donald W. Grenier, Jr., 61, of Chicago, Jose Hernandez, 45, of Chicago, and William F. Koch, 36, of Chicago. Jenkins, Heise, Koch, and Greiner, Jr. are also charged with additional drug trafficking counts, which occur on different dates, within the indictment. Heise is also charged with possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense.
As alleged in the indictment and the criminal complaint filed in February 2023, from February 2022 to February 2023, Jenkins and Heise directed McCormick to ship parcels containing methamphetamine via U.S. Mail from Sacramento, California to Chicago. During their investigation, law enforcement identified more than 200 parcels suspected of containing methamphetamine, and recovered methamphetamine from at least ten parcels, including parcels addressed to Grenier, McCormick, Koch, Hernandez, and Heise. Jenkins and Heise, along with other members of the drug trafficking organization, are alleged to have shipped narcotics proceeds back to McCormick via private shipping companies, including FedEx and UPS.
Joining DEA Chicago SAC Lyons and Acting U.S. Attorney Pascual in the announcement were Ruth M. Mendonça, Inspector-in-Charge of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service in Chicago; Robert W. Wheeler, Jr., Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; and David Brown, Superintendent of the Chicago Police Department. Valuable assistance was provided by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of California, the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) Strike Forces located in Chicago and Sacramento, the USPIS’s High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task Force Parcel Interdiction Regional Enforcement Team located in Chicago, USPIS’s Narcotics and Economic Crimes Investigations Task Force located in Sacramento, Homeland Security Investigations in Sacramento, and North Riverside Police Department, Illinois. The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Elly Peirson.
The public is reminded that an indictment contains only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. The 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. The drug trafficking counts carry penalties driven by the amount of methamphetamine each defendant is responsible for trafficking; they range from no less than five years up to life in federal prison. For the firearms charge, Heise faces an additional penalty of five years in federal prison consecutive to the drug charges. If convicted, the Court must impose a reasonable sentence under federal statutes and the advisory U.S. Sentencing Guidelines.
This case is part of an OCDETF investigation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles drug traffickers and other alleged criminal offenders that threaten the United States by using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies against alleged criminal networks.