Cops: Pills, Crack, $2,000 Found In Recreation Drive Arrest

Olivarez was arrested here, in the 3700 block of North Recreation Drive, police said. | CPD; Google

Cops say they found an Albany Park man sitting in his car near the lakefront with suspected crack cocaine, pills, and more than $2,000 cash early Friday.

Police approached Juan Olivarez’s car in the 3700 block of Recreation Drive around 2:30 a.m. because the park was closed, authorities said. Officers saw a “green leafy substance” on the car’s center console and asked Olivarez to step out, according to court records.

Prosecutors say a further search turned up suspected crack cocaine inside the center console, seven hydrocodone pills in one of Olivarez’s pockets, and $2,160.

The 21-year-old’s Jeep was impounded, and he is now charged with two felony counts of narcotics possession and with being on park property after hours.

Last year, Olivarez received probation for casual delivery of cannabis in Lincoln Square, court records say.

Olivarez’s arrest stems from a sharp increase in police patrols throughout the 19th District’s park system under Commander Marc Buslik.

Similar patrols in mid-July resulted in the arrest of a 22-year-old Lakeview man for allegedly possessing nearly $6,500 worth of narcotics in the Diversey Harbor parking lot.

22-year-old Israel Araujo 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 July 16, 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 facing five felony narcotics charges; possession of drug paraphernalia; and—the least of his worries—possession of alcohol on park property. The case continues to work its way through court.

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CWBChicago was created in 2013 by five residents of Wrigleyville and Boystown who had grown disheartened with inaccurate information that was being provided at local Community Policing (CAPS) meetings. Our coverage area has expanded since then to cover Lincoln Park, River North, The Loop, Uptown, and other North Side Areas. But our mission remains unchanged: To provide original public safety reporting with better context and greater detail than mainstream media outlets. Our editorial email address is