Feds sentence two in Evanston, Morton Grove drug pipeline from Mexico

A federal judge sentenced a Skokie man and a Morton Grove man for their involvement in a Mexico-to-Evanston drug pipeline, according to the office of the United States Attorney’s office for the Northern District of Illinois.

Sheldon Morales, 42, of Morton Grove, and Eduardo Santana, 47, of Skokie, were convicted on a drug conspiracy charge for their role in trafficking methamphetamine, fentanyl, and cocaine from Mexico to Evanston and Morton Grove in 2019, per a news release. The two were sentenced to a combined 36 years in prison.

Morales was also convicted of a drug charge related to his attempted possession of methamphetamine and fentanyl. U.S. District Judge Mary M. Rowland sentenced Morales to 19 years and seven months in prison. Santana was sentenced to 16 years and eight months in prison, per a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Morales and Santana conspired with two Texas prisoners to send drugs in packages from California and Arizona, which were later sold on the street in the Chicago area, per the news release.

Two other defendants were also convicted and sentenced to prison as a part of the investigation. Darius Morales, 34, of Evanston, was sentenced to nearly eight years in federal prison in 2022 for illegally possessing a semi-automatic handgun in Evanston. Demetrius Shavers, 42, of Chicago, was sentenced in 2021 to more than six and a half years in federal prison for trafficking heroin, cocaine, and fentanyl in the Chicago area.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, law enforcement wiretapped cellphones, seized packages and did extensive surveillance to uncover the drug pipeline. The case was part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces investigation.