Had Luis Cruz not had the bad luck of being pulled over by a Joliet police K9 officer, it's entirely possible his hidden stash of drugs concealed in a secret compartment of his SUV would have gone undetected, Cmdr. Al Roechner said.
Then again, had the 31-year-old Brookfield man had a license plate on the front of his silver Jeep Cherokee, the Joliet officer likely would not have pulled him over in the first place.
Cruz was stopped at about 1:30 p.m. Tuesday near Theodore Street and Raynor Avenue, Roechner said. When the officer noticed Cruz's passenger "looking back and ducking down a lot," he asked Cruz if he could take a look inside, he said.
"You can check it out if you want," was Cruz's reply, Roechner said.
The officer's dog quickly detected the hidden compartment, which contained six clear bags of cocaine, one clear bag of a dark-colored substance and a clear bag containing pills, he said.
Roechner declined to say where the secret compartment was located other than it was in interior front area of the vehicle. Such false niches are manufactured for the purpose of concealing guns and drugs, he said.
Cruz also presented the officer with an Illinois state ID card because his driver's license had expired in 2007, Roechner said.
Cruz was arrested and charged with possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver, false/secret compartment in vehicle and no driver's license. His passenger was not arrested.
Cruz is being held in the Will County jail in lieu of $150,000 bond.