|Israel Araujo (inset) and two shell casings that were found behind his home in May. | CCSO; Anonymous|
Many folks who live near the 1500 block of West Melrose were awakened by gunfire early on May 8. Surveillance video showed the gunman walking through an alley and stopping to fire several shots behind a home before running away.
Days later, we reported exclusively that police sources had concluded that the gunfire was a warning to a drug dealer who lives on the street.
Hold that thought.
A 22-year-old Lakeview man is facing multiple narcotics charges after cops on routine patrol found him in possession of nearly $6,500 worth of drugs at Diversey Harbor last weekend, according to court records.
Israel Araujo of (here it comes) the 1500 block of West Melrose was sitting in his car rolling a cigarette and reeking of alcohol when cops stepped up to see what was going on around 9:30 p.m. on Sunday, prosecutors said.
Between Araujo’s legs was a backpack containing $1,870 worth of crack cocaine; $930 in heroin; $2,175 in powder cocaine; 37 hits of LSD worth $185; $406 worth of pot; empty gelatin capsules; and “109.5 prescription pills” that were not prescribed to him, according to police.
The prescription drugs included 9.5 Oxycontin; 44 Lexapro; 46 Xanax; and 10 Tramadol, officers said.
Altogether the stash was worth $6,495.60.
He’s charged with five felony narcotics charges; possession of drug paraphernalia; and—the least of his worries—possession of alcohol on park property.
Araujo lives literally 100 feet from the spot where May’s gunman opened fire in the alley between Melrose and School this spring.
Court records show that exactly one week before those “warning shots” were fired, Araujo was arrested in suburban Franklin Park and charged with four felony narcotics-related charges for allegedly possessing $175 worth of cocaine; $171 worth of pot; 3.3 grams of MDMA; and eight Adderall.
What happened to those Franklin Park charges? The Cook County State’s Attorney’s office dropped ‘em on June 22.
Araujo’s bail has been set at $100,000. Considering what happened the last time he got arrested, jail may be the safest place for him…and his neighbors.