Alfonso A. Avila-Cisneros, 56, of 3285 Seminole Ave., Lynwood, Calif., pleaded guilty Thursday to one count of unlawful possession of a controlled substance (heroin) with intent to deliver, a Class X felony carrying 6-30 years with no possibility of probation.
Avila-Cisneros was busted Oct. 9 following an Interstate 80 traffic stop by the La Salle County State’s Attorney Felony Enforcement Team. Though initial reports suggested a quantity of a kilogram or more, prosecutors revealed Thursday that for plea purposes attorneys stipulated to a quantity of just under 100 grams, or about 3½ ounces.
Even so reduced, that’s the largest known bulk shipment of heroin seized in La Salle County since the narcotic resurfaced 10 years ago in the Illinois Valley.
During Thursday’s plea hearing, prosecutors revealed that Avila-Cisneros admitted to authorities he’d been paid to drive the heroin to Chicago.
La Salle County state’s attorney Brian Towne called the seizure and conviction a “significant event” for the SAFE Team and for the state’s attorney’s office.
“Heroin continues to be a major problem for our area,” Towne said, “and some of the heroin headed to Chicago would invariably have made it down to La Salle County.”
Towne further noted the plea and resulting sentence were reasonable considering Avila-Cisneros on the one hand had no previous criminal history and that he was “only a courier,” but also the fact his vehicle was used in the transfer of such a large shipment.
Avila-Cisneros is eligible for day-for-day good time and could be released in about 13 years.
Tom Collins can be reached at (815) 220-6930 or firstname.lastname@example.org.