Riverside drug house shut down

Riverside police, on June 7, shut down a drug operation inside a home in the 7200 block of Ogden Avenue, seizing more than 200 grams of cannabis and charging a reputed gang member with dealing drugs.

Police officers from Riverside and the West Suburban Enhanced Drug and Gang Enforcement (WEDGE) task force descended on the one-story, ranch-style building at 2 p.m., armed with a search warrant that resulted from a four-month investigation.

Neighbors assisted police during the investigation by alerting them to suspicious vehicles and people who were loitering in the vicinity of the property, which is owned by a mortgage servicing firm. Texas-based Nationstar Mortgage LLC firm obtained the property following foreclosure proceedings in 2010.

Victor M. Sanchez, 18, was at home when police executed their search warrant. Police reportedly recovered 265 grams, or about a half pound, of cannabis in addition to drug paraphernalia, packaging materials, and tools for preparing the cannabis for sale.

Sanchez, allegedly a self-admitted street gang member, is being held at Cook County Jail with bond set at $10,000. He had a preliminary court hearing Tuesday at the Maybrook courthouse.

Police Chief Thomas Weitzel said Sanchez was selling marijuana to both adults and juveniles from Berwyn, Chicago, Lyons, Summit, Justice and several communities in DuPage County.

Guilty plea in sex assault case

A former North Riverside resident pleaded guilty in May to attempted criminal sexual assault in connection with an August 2012 incident in which he tried to force a 20-year-old woman to have sex with him after three hours of drinking in his SUV.

Vincent Botello, 34, who now resides in Chicago according to information found on the state of Illinois’ sex offender website, was sentenced to 30 months’ probation in exchange for his guilty plea on the one charge, North Riverside Deputy Police Chief Deborah Garcia confirmed on Monday. Prosecutors dropped three other charges, including unlawful restraint, aggravated battery and criminal sexual assault.

Police reported that Botello had invited the woman to drink alcohol with him inside his SUV. After three hours, Botello made sexual advances, which the woman rebuffed. She left the vehicle and Botello followed her through an alley, where he threw her on the ground, got on top of her and tried to pull down her shorts.

The assault was interrupted by a neighbor, who heard screams coming from the alley and shouted for Botello to stop.

Suspicious fire

Brookfield police are investigating the cause of a fire that started in a closet at a residence in the 9000 block of Monroe Avenue about 11:15 p.m. on June 7.

A resident of the home called 911 to report the fire, which was extinguished by fire department personnel who arrived on the scene and reported smoke coming from the northwest side of the structure.

The caller informed police that earlier in the day he and his girlfriend had been arguing and he left the house about 11 p.m. when his girlfriend locked herself in the bedroom.

Fifteen minutes later, he reportedly received a phone call from his girlfriend, which he ignored, and then a text message that read, “Please help me put out the fire you started.” The man went home and into the bedroom, where he reported seeing his clothes on fire inside his closet. He reportedly attempted to put out the fire himself before calling 911.

Gas station burglarized

An employee of the BP gas station at 2558 Desplaines Ave. in North Riverside arrived at work about 4:10 a.m. on June 4 to find that the business had been burglarized.

The offender attempted but failed to pry open the ATM machine. However, the perpetrator was successful in removing a 30-by-20 inch safe, which contained cash. The safe was found, open, two days later in an alley behind the 2700 block of Elm Street in River Grove.

Four times the legal limit

A 35-year-old Brookfield woman, arrested for drunk driving on June 3, had a blood-alcohol level of .349 — more than four times the legal limit of .08 — when she was pulled over by Riverside police for speeding in the 7300 block of Ogden Avenue in Riverside around 1:40 a.m., according to police.

The woman was driving a 2007 Volkswagen Jetta 19 miles an hour over the posted speed limit, according to police, when she was stopped. She drove up onto the sidewalk in the 8000 block of Ogden Avenue when she pulled over, according to police, who called her level of intoxication “severe and disabling.”

She told police she had just left her job as a bartender in Berwyn, where she reportedly said she had one beer and one shot of vodka.

These items were obtained from police reports filed by the Riverside, North Riverside and Brookfield police departments, June 3-9, and represent a portion of the incidents to which police responded. Unless otherwise indicated, anybody named in these reports has only been charged with a crime. These cases have not been adjudicated.