Feds charge California man with possessing 20 kilos of heroin in I-70 traffic stop

EAST ST. LOUIS — A 45-year-old California man has been indicted by a Federal grand jury after he was recently stopped on Interstate 70 with $3.5 million worth of heroin hidden in a semi-truck he was driving.

Conrad Valdez, Jr. of Selma, California was indicted on one count of possession with intent to distribute more than one kilo of heroin.

He was ordered held without bond Thursday in federal court, pending a December 21 jury trial.

On September 19, Illinois State Police conducted a traffic stop and truck inspection on a semi driven by Valdez.

During the stop, law enforcement found underneath the bottom sleeper bunk inside the truck tractor approximately 20 kilos — 44 pounds — of heroin.

The heroin offense carries a penalty of a minimum of 10 years to a maximum of life in federal prison, to be followed by at least five years of supervised release, and a fine of up to $10 million.

The ongoing investigation is being conducted by the US Drug Enforcement Administration, Central Illinois Enforcement Group, and Illinois State Police. The Effingham County State’s Attorney’s Office assisted in the investigation.