Kane County sheriff’s deputies confiscated 84 pounds of high-grade cannabis, worth an estimated $250,000 during a traffic stop Tuesday on eastbound Interstate 90.
A deputy stopped Brian Ballestrasse, the driver of a Chevrolet pickup truck, on charges of speeding and following too closely on I-90 near the Randall Road overpass at 12:40 p.m., according to reports.
During the stop, the deputy developed information leading him to believe Ballestrasse, 62, Kent, Wash., might be involved in drug trafficking and requested the K9 unit from the McHenry County Sheriff’s Office to the scene, reports stated.
The K9 officer found the cannabis hidden inside two water heaters in the bed of the truck, deputies said. The value was estimated at $250,000, but if broken down for street-level sales, the value could be as much as $1 million, authorities said.
Ballestrasse was taken into custody and transported to the Kane County Adult Corrections Center. The Kane County State’s Attorney’s Office authorized the following charges against Ballestrasse:
- Possession of cannabis with intent to deliver, over 5,000 grams.
- Cannabis trafficking.
- Possession of cannabis, over 5,000 grams.
Ballestrasse appeared in bond call Wednesday, where his bond was set at $1.1 million.
A defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial in which it is the state’s burden to prove his or her guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.