Two sometimes Evanston residents, Sheldon Morales and Eduardo Santana, face possible life sentences after their conviction on federal drug conspiracy charges.

The charges against the two came as part of a federal investigation that the Department of Justice says disrupted a Mexico-to-Chicago drug pipeline.

They were charged with conspiring with a supplier in Mexico and two inmates in a prison in Texas to traffic methamphetamine, fentanyl and cocaine from Mexico to Evanston and Morton Grove in 2019.

The drugs were sent in packages from California and Arizona and later sold on the streets in the Chicago area.

A jury in U.S. District Court in Chicago convicted Morales, 40, and Santana, 45, on Friday.

Both Morales and Santana had been arrested frequently in Evanston over more than a decade on a variety of other charges.

Morales was also convicted of an individual drug charge related to his possession of methamphetamine and fentanyl. Morales faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in federal prison and a maximum of life, while Santana faces a mandatory minimum of ten years and a maximum of life.

The drug trafficking activities were uncovered through the use of wiretapped cellular phones and extensive surveillance.  The case was part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces investigation.

A Justice Department news release credited the Evanston Police Department with providing substantial assistance in the investigation..

U.S. District Judge Mary M. Rowland has not yet scheduled sentencings.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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