Illinois State Police (ISP) officials announced the seizure of more than 62 pounds of cocaine and heroin. The large load of narcotics was uncovered during a traffic stop stemming from a speeding violation.
At approximately 12:42 a.m. on Feb. 2, an ISP District 17 trooper observed a black 2014 Ford Explorer that was speeding eastbound on Interstate 80 near Milepost 72. The vehicle was stopped, and during the traffic stop, the trooper detected an odor of burnt cannabis while speaking to the driver of the vehicle, Patrick S. Romolt, 41, of Arizona. A subsequent search of the vehicle yielded a small amount of cannabis and two duffle bags containing more than 62 pounds of a suspected substance that later tested positive for both cocaine and heroin.
“Criminal organizations will go to any extent to transport narcotics across interstate lines, and it’s up to law enforcement to try to stay one step ahead of them at all times,” said ISP District 17 Captain Robert Atherton. “This seizure underscores our unwavering commitment to the dismantling of these illegal criminal enterprises that can lead to violence and fatalities.”
Following the discovery of the illegal drugs, agents from the ISP Zone 3 Criminal Patrol (CRIMPAT) Unit, Will County Cooperative Police Assistance Team (CPAT), Joliet Metropolitan Area Narcotics Squad (MANS), Kankakee Area Metropolitan Enforcement Group (KAMEG) and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) responded and assisted in the investigation.
Romolt was charged federally with possession of more than five kilos of cocaine with intent to distribute. A second occupant of the vehicle was released without being charged.