Felon charged after cops find drugs, stolen guns at South Elgin home

Mario Prado and Cristian Flores | North Central Narcotics Task Force

A convicted felon is facing a series of new charges after officers uncovered over 100 grams of cocaine and stolen guns during a search of his home last week in northwest suburban South Elgin.

Mario Prado, a 26-year-old gang member, became the target of a multi-jurisdictional investigation after agents learned he was supplying cocaine to another man, 22-year-old Cristian Flores, according to a statement from the North Central Narcotics Task Force.

Flores, of West Dundee, was identified by the task force in January as a suspected coke dealer. An undercover agent then struck up a relationship with Flores before buying 77 grams of cocaine from him over the course of four separate meetings in the Hoffman Estates area, the task force said.

During those drug deals, other agents conducted surveillance and saw Flores meeting with his suspected supplier, Prado, the task force said. Additional surveillance led agents to Prado’s home in South Elgin, and they obtained a search warrant to look inside.

On Feb. 13, agents arrested Flores during a “covert operation,” the task force said. Early the next morning, law enforcement officials searched his home and uncovered cash, drugs and a variety of guns, five of which had been reported stolen.

Agents seized $5,479 in cash, 76 grams of cocaine, more than 31 grams of crack cocaine and 89 grams of hydrocodone syrup, the task force said. Additionally, they took nine total guns, including a stolen AK-47 assault rifle.

Prado was subsequently charged with felony counts of unlawful possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver, unlawful possession of a controlled substance, unlawful possession of a firearm by a convicted felon or gang member and unlawful possession of a firearm with a defaced serial number, the task force said. He also faces misdemeanor counts of unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia and child endangerment.

He is being held at Kane County Jail on $2 million bail, the task force said. His next court date is set for Feb. 22.

Flores, the original target of the investigation, was charged with felony counts of unlawful delivery of a controlled substance that stem from his sales to the undercover agent, the task force said.

Flores was ordered held at Cook County Jail on $8,750 bail, the task force said. His next court hearing is scheduled for March 8.