Four arrested in North Shore heroin distribution ring - FOX 10 News | fox10phoenix.com

Four arrested in North Shore heroin distribution ring

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SKOKIE, Ill. (Sun-Times Media Wire) -

Four people were arrested Monday following a three-month investigation into a North Shore heroin distribution ring.

Chicago resident Nikkolas Casillo, 28, allegedly operated the distribution network, according to a statement from Wilmette Police. He is accused of supplying heroin to lower-level dealers, who would sell the drug in Chicago and in North Shore communities.

He was arrested at 4:55 p.m. Monday at an apartment in the 3500 block of North Long Avenue in Chicago, after allegedly directing a 17-year-old girl to deliver heroin to an undercover officer, police said.

The teen was arrested after the transaction, and officers found more heroin and a small amount of marijuana in the apartment, police claim.

Casillo faces two counts of manufacture/delivery of heroin within 1,000 feet of a public park, school or church; one count of employing a person under 18 to deliver a controlled substance; one count of manufacture/delivery of up to 15 grams of heroin; two counts of manufacture/delivery of less than 10 grams of heroin; and one count of possession of more than 15 grams of heroin, all felonies, police said.

Casillo, a former Wilmette resident who now lives in the 4400 block of West Washington Boulevard, is an admitted "Milwaukee King" gang member, police claim.

The teen girl, also of Chicago, faces one count of manufacture/delivery of heroin within 1,000 feet of a public park, school or church and one count of manufacture/delivery of up to 15 grams of heroin, both felonies, police said.

Less than two hours after they were arrested, authorities also arrested 23-year-old James Findlay in a vehicle parked in the driveway of his residence in the 800 block of Greenwood Avenue in Glencoe, police said.

Undercover officers previously purchased heroin from Findlay, who allegedly distributed the heroin from Casillo to various communities, police said. He also had a small amount of marijuana with him when he was arrested, police said.

Findlay faces one count of manufacture/delivery of heroin within 1,000 feet of a public park, school or church and one count of manufacture/delivery of up to 15 grams of heroin, both felonies, police said. He was also charged with one misdemeanor count of possession of less than 2.5 grams of cannabis.

The driver of the vehicle, 23-year-old Taylor Appelbaum, was also arrested for possession of prescription pills and marijuana, police said.

Appelbaum, of the 1700 block of Oak Street in Evanston, faces three felony counts of possession of a controlled substance and one misdemeanor count of possession of less than 2.5 grams of cannabis, police said.

During hearings Tuesday, Casillo was ordered held on $40,000 bond and Findlay was held on $25,000 bond, police said. Appelbaum was released on a $20,000 individual recognizance bond. All three are next scheduled to appear at the Skokie courthouse April 25.

The 17-year-old girl was released to her parent and a juvenile court hearing is pending.

Wilmette Police headed the three-month investigation that led to the arrests. The North Gang Team of the Cook County Sheriff's office assisted in the case.

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