PERU —The Peru Police Department has made a “significant” drug arrest reaching into Bureau County.
On Thursday, Peru Police Chief Doug Bernabei announced the arrest of Curt A. Koehler, 50, of Oglesby, who also has addresses listed in Spring Valley and Ladd.
Koehler has been the subject of a lengthy investigation by the Peru narcotics detectives who had Koehler under surveillance, stopped him and arrested him, Bernabei said.
The Peru Police Department’s Special Investigations and Enforcement Unit has led the investigation into delivery and possession of heroin in the Illinois Valley area, Bernabei said. Sales of suspected heroin have taken place on multiple occasions during the undercover police operations, as well as suspected heroin being transported from Chicago to the greater Illinois Valley area, he added.
The arrest of Koehler is “an arrest that is very significant relating to the distribution and possession of heroin here in the Peru area,” Bernabei said.
Koehler was arrested at 1:24 p.m. Wednesday at the intersection of Shooting Park Road and Dalzell Road. He was taken to the Peru City Jail on preliminary felony drug charges and was expected to be transported later Thursday to the LaSalle County Jail for his first court appearance on Friday. At that time, formal drug charges were expected to be filed by the LaSalle County State’s Attorney’s office.
During Wednesday’s arrest, authorities seized 27 separate packages of suspected heroin, Bernabei said. This suspected contraband, as well as other contraband previously seized, will be taken to the state laboratory for analysis. Additional charges could be filed later against Koehler.
Bernabei commended the work of the detectives involved in this case and all other drug cases in the area.
“Our in-house drug unit was formed in January 2011 and in just under three years, they have arrested over 175 individuals on drug charges and arrested over another 250 people on a variety of other criminal charges and on other warrants,” Bernabei said. “We commit that we will continue this aggressive approach to drug enforcement in the Peru area. By this aggressive approach, we are clearly sending a message that drug dealing will not be tolerated in the city of Peru.”