from the Circuit Court of Du Page County. No. 14-CF-1268
Honorable John J. Kinsella, Judge, Presiding.
JUSTICE BIRKETT delivered the judgment of the court, with
opinion. Justices Burke and Spence concurred in the judgment
1 Following a bench trial, defendant, Jose L. Hernandez, was
convicted of unlawful delivery of a controlled substance (720
ILCS 570/401(a)(1)(D) (West 2014)). He appeals, contending
that the State failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that
he knowingly participated in the transaction. We affirm.
2 At trial, Garrick Amschl testified that he was a detective
with the Olympia Fields police department, assigned to the
Department of Homeland Security. In this capacity, he
investigated major crimes involving narcotics and money
laundering. In his career, he had participated in hundreds of
3 Virtually all of Amschl's cases involved surveillance.
He explained that narcotics traffickers and money launderers
often conduct "heat runs" and other
countersurveillance techniques to find out if they are being
watched by law enforcement. A heat run involves taking an
out-of-the-way route to an actual destination. Such a run
might involve numerous turns, pulling to the side of the
street, making U-turns, going down back alleys, or going the
wrong way on a one-way street to see if someone is following.
This is merely a list of possible behaviors to look for; not
every technique will be involved in every investigation.
4 On July 24, 2014, Amschl learned that a previous target of
an investigation had been stopped in Arkansas with more than
$100, 000 on his person. The vehicle in which he was riding
was registered to 14 Lynch Street in Elgin. Amschl went to 14
Lynch Street about 10 a.m. with detectives Miguel Pantoja and
Juan Carrillo. They parked on the street, just north of the
address. They saw a black Chevrolet Cruze that was registered
to defendant at an address in Texas.
5 The officers saw a woman and a young boy leave the house
and drive off in a different car. They followed them to a
local restaurant, where the woman and the child ate
breakfast. When they returned to 14 Lynch Street, the
Chevrolet Cruze had left. That vehicle returned about 1:20
p.m., occupied by two Hispanic men, defendant driving.
Defendant left the vehicle and entered the house
6 Defendant and the other man returned to the car around 2:45
p.m. Amschl and the other detectives followed them. Amschl
testified that defendant took a circuitous route and made
several U-turns, which Amschl opined was consistent with a
heat run. However, defendant did not appear to violate any
traffic laws. The two men eventually returned to the area of
14 Lynch Street but parked about a block away although there
was ample parking available in front of the residence. Amschl
testified that, in his experience, narcotics dealers often
park away from their residences to obfuscate their exact
7 At 4:11 p.m., defendant and the other man returned to the
Cruze. The detectives followed them to a condominium complex
on Elgin's west side. The detectives did not follow the
Cruze into the complex, because they did not want to alert
defendant and his companion to their presence. About a
half-hour later, the Cruze left the parking lot. Defendant
was still driving, but now he was alone. His former passenger
followed in a Chevrolet Impala, accompanied by another man.
8 The two cars drove for some time, eventually arriving at a
Wal-Mart in Addison. The vehicles then separated and entered
the parking lot at different entrances. Amschl lost sight of
defendant's vehicle but maintained surveillance of the
Impala. He was informed that another Hispanic man got into
the Impala in the parking lot, and he subsequently saw that
man get out of the car and get into a red Hyundai. The man
was carrying a black bag.
9 Amschl testified, based on his experience in doing
surveillance, that drug dealers often use lookouts. They
would generally be positioned so that they could watch for
police and intervene if any officers were spotted.
10 Amschl and Jose Gonzalez, of the Addison police
department, executed a traffic stop of the red Hyundai. The
driver of the vehicle was Orlando Pacheco-Ramos. A search
recovered eight bricks of heroin from the black bag that he
had retrieved from the Impala in the Wal-Mart parking lot.
11 Gonzalez testified that Amschl had requested his
assistance in conducting a drug surveillance. He observed the
Cruze closely following the Impala. He opined that the Cruze
following the Impala was consistent with a drug ...