Significant dent on the Lake Geneva drug scene
It isn’t every day that 11 drug dealers are taken down from the same community, Deputy District Attorney Joshua Grube said.
“This is one of the round-ups where from time to time, we go to a particular community and arrest all of the drug dealers that we have controlled buys on,” Grube said.
Controlled buy involve a police informant buying drugs using pre-recorded currency and turning over the drugs to the police.
The Tuesday arrests ended a six-month investigation conducted by the Lake Geneva Police Department, Walworth County Drug Enforcement Unit and the Walworth County Sheriff’s Office.
Five cocaine dealers, two heroin dealers and four marijuana dealers were taken into custody. Officers and deputies confiscated vehicles, drug paraphernalia and thousands of dollars in currency believed to have come from drug deals.
“It makes an impact and lets the community know we take this seriously,” said Grube, who prosecutes most drug cases in Walworth County.
Grube said one of the most notorious dealers, Francis J. Serna, known on the streets as “Chanto,” was caught selling upward of 14 grams of cocaine. Each gram is worth about $100 when cut and packaged separately.
In three controlled buys, Serna sold 6.7 grams, 6.9 grams and 14 grams of cocaine to a confidential informant, according to a criminal complaint. He is being held on a $25,000 cash bond.
Eduardo Aranda, 23, of 4046 Wells St., Lake Geneva, is accused of selling four bags of cocaine weighing 2.4, 0.8, 1.3 and 0.6 grams respectively. He is being held on a $15,000 cash bond.
“None of these people were caught with kilos, so they’re not at the very top of the cocaine dealing world,” Grube said. “But they’re still busy, street-level dealers that are causing lots of problems in our community, and they needed to be arrested and confined.”
In recent years, Walworth County law enforcement agencies have shifted resources to combat heroin, which has become more widespread in the region. The highly addictive drug has been linked to more than eight deaths in Walworth County and 11 Rock County deaths.
With five of the 11 arrested men dealing cocaine, Grube said the operation also shows how much cocaine is still infiltrated in Walworth County.
“We really focused efforts on cocaine and heroin,” he said. “And it looks like six cocaine dealers were taken out of the community in one day.
“That’s got to have a significant impact.”
The sixth cocaine dealer was arrested a day after the Tuesday bust. Police say Octavio Torres-Cortes, 20, of W891 Primrose Road, Genoa City, was working with Erick Alfaro, 21, of N3347 Juniper Road, Lake Geneva. The men are charged with delivering cocaine.
Police say they also arrested two other partners in crime: Aranda was working with Javier Villegas, 21, of 24 Darwin St., Lake Geneva, who is accused of separately selling three bags of cocaine weighing 2.4, 1.3 and 0.6 grams respectively.
Arrested by Walworth County, state and federal authorities this week were:
Marcus A. Fernandez, 20, of 1271 Wisconsin St., Apt. B., Lake Geneva. Charged with three counts of delivery of heroin. Held on $10,000 cash bond.
Francis J. Serna, 27, of 1157 S. Wells St., Apt. 6, Lake Geneva. Charged with three counts of delivery of cocaine. Held on $25,000 cash bond.
Javier B. Villegas, 21, of 24 Darwin St., Lake Geneva. Charged with three counts of possession with intent to deliver cocaine, one count of possession with intent to deliver and one count of delivery of marijuana. Held on $10,000 cash bond.
Eduardo Aranda, 23, of 406 Wells St., Lake Geneva. Charged with four counts of delivery of cocaine. Held on $15,000 cash bond.
Erick F. Alfaro, 21, of N3347 Juniper Road, Lake Geneva. Charged with delivery of cocaine. Held on $3,000 cash bond and probation violation.
Joseph L. Decaro, 20, of N1473 Jade Lane, Pell Lake. Charged with possession with intent to deliver heroin. Released on $1,000 cash bond.
Bradley K. Skipper, 39, of 1821 Conant St., Lake Geneva. Charged with delivery of cocaine, manufacturing marijuana and possession with intent to deliver marijuana. Released on $1,000 cash bond.
Justin T. Peters, 17, of 1019 Pleasant St., Lake Geneva. Charged with manufacturing marijuana. Released on signature bond.
Karl Garcia, 22, of 1306 Park Row, Lake Geneva. Charged with three counts of delivery of marijuana. Released on signature bond.
Richard W. Miller II, 19, of 130 South 7th St., Delavan. Charged with two counts of delivery of marijuana. Released on signature bond.
Nathan M. Etheridge, 18, of 1019 Dorwood Drive, Lake Geneva. Charged with two counts of delivery of marijuana. Released on signature bond.