Police announced they have arrested a man who allegedly has been selling fentanyl-laced pills that resembled legitimate prescription medications in Antioch and was also found with a gun.
The Antioch Police Department said the arrest is part of the ongoing battle against the trafficking of deadly counterfeit pills.
Officers arrested Robert Julian, 19, of Antioch, on Monday on felony drug charges.
He was charged with three counts of possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance and three counts of unlawful possession of a controlled substance. The charges range from Class 1 to Class 4 felonies.
A loaded handgun was also recovered during the arrest. Julian is expected to be charged with unlawful possession of a firearm pending a crime lab analysis.
Antioch Police Chief Geoffrey Guttschow said the arrest is significant in the department’s response to combat the local issues associated with the ongoing nationwide opioid epidemic.
“The type of drugs that were taken off of our streets this week are the same type that has been responsible for the vast majority of overdoses our police department has been dealing with,” Guttschow said.
“Antioch has no place in our hometown for criminals like this,” Guttschow said.
Julian was the target of a several months-long investigation.
Detectives determined that he had been selling fentanyl-laced counterfeit pills that were intended to resemble legitimate prescription medications, according to Antioch Communication Manager Jim Moran.
He is also suspected of selling fentanyl-laced counterfeit pills that were believed to have been connected to the overdose death of an Antioch resident last year, Moran said.
Antioch police detectives obtained a $250,000 warrant for Julian’s arrest.
Officers conducted a traffic stop around 3 p.m. Monday on a car Julian was driving near Harden Street and Route 173. He was taken into custody on the outstanding arrest warrant.
Officers recovered a loaded 9mm pistol from inside the vehicle along with more than 80 counterfeit pills that tested positive for fentanyl, Moran said.
Officers also located 1.2 grams of methamphetamine and several pieces of drug paraphernalia.
Lake County Judge Theodore Potkonjak ordered Julian held on a $500,000 bond during a hearing Tuesday.
Guttschow said he commends the hard work of the police officers and detectives who worked to develop the case against Julian.
“Although the department continues to use community outreach and education to save lives, such as our recent opioid awareness fair, and the distribution of Narcan, the Antioch Police Department remains 100% committed to bringing to justice those who decide to sell this poison in our community,” Guttschow said.
“The hard work of the members of our department not only took a drug dealer and drugs off the streets of our town, but it also took a handgun away from a criminal. Drugs and guns together can have deadly implications. It’s safe to say, our officers saved lives with this arrest,” Guttschow added.