PERU — According to a press release from the Tri-County Drug Enforcement Narcotics Team (Tri-DENT), following a long-running investigation into cocaine dealing in the Illinois Valley, officers have made an arrest.
At approximately 6:18 p.m. Aug. 2, the Tri-DENT task force, with assistance from the LaSalle and Peru police departments, arrested Naichiem Saepharn, 20, of DePue. He was taken into custody on an original arrest warrant for unlawful delivery of a controlled substance, cocaine — more than 15 grams, but less than 100 grams, which is a Class X felony, in the 100 block of Fifth Street (Route 6) in Peru.
During the investigation, Tri-DENT officers were assisted by Peru special investigators, the Illinois State Police and the LaSalle County State’s Attorney Office.
During the arrest of Saepharn, a K-9 unit inspected a 2010 Dodge Charger which was being driven by the suspect. After the K-9 officer detected narcotic odors within the vehicle, agents located roughly 13.5 ounces of a substance containing cocaine and more than $10,000 in cash nearby.
Saepharn is being held on a bond of $2 million at the LaSalle County Jail. He faces additional charges of possession of a controlled substance with an intent to deliver more than 100 grams, but less than 400 grams which is a Class X felony.
If sold by the gram, 13.5 ounces of cocaine has a potential value of more than $37,900.
The Tri-DENT task force is comprised of officers from the LaSalle, Streator, Princeton, Oglesby and Mendota Police Departments along with deputies from the LaSalle, Bureau and Putnam County Sheriff’s Departments.