Rockford police seize drugs, weapons

More than 600 pounds of cannabis, a rifle and handgun were seized from two Rockford residences June 1. Rockford Police Chief Chet Epperson said the controlled substance has a street value of more than $500,000.

Search warrants were executed for 2313 Clifton St. and 2329 9th St. based on information from the Clayton County, Iowa, Sheriff’s Office and Postville Police Department. Epperson said they got the tip about three weeks ago.

The Rockford Police Department said the Iowa authorities contacted the department’s Metro Narcotics Unit, which initiated the local investigation. Both the Stateline Area Narcotics Team and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration assisted in the investigation.

Luis Nmi Flores, 32; Jorge E. Perez, 23; Efren Nmi Perez-Lopez, 20; Maria L. Avila, 19; and Miguel Nmi Guzman, 52, were arrested in connection to the drug and weapon seizure.

Nmi Flores was arrested on two counts of manufacture and delivery of more than 5,000 grams. Perez and Perez-Lopez were both arrested on charges of manufacture and delivery of more than 5,000 grams and attempting to obstruct justice. Nmi Guzman and Avila were both arrested on charges of manufacture and delivery of more than 5,000 grams.

Bond for each suspect was set at $1 million. They could face sentences of between six to 30 years, with no hope of parole. When questioned about the bond amount, Epperson was unapologetic.

“(The bond) should be (that high),” Epperson said.

Epperson added that drugs have a significant impact on the quality of life in Rockford.

Rockford Deputy Chief of Police Greg Lindmark said the seizure is among the largest in the city’s history.

“On a scale of one to 10, it’s an eight,” Lindmark said.

Epperson stressed the seizure’s importance when he said, “Our youth are not going to be subjected to this cannabis.”

From the June 14-20, 2006, issue

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