Investigation leads to four arrests in rural Douglas County

The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, Tuscola Police Department, and the East Central Illinois Task Force (ECITF) on Tuesday, July 25 executed a search warrant of a local residence that resulted in the arrest of four suspects.

Authorities searched the Jeff Rogers’s property, 1435 E CR 825 N. Tuscola (approximately four miles southeast of Tuscola), in reference to multiple investigations involving stolen vehicles and drug activity.

Kenneth C. Torres, 28, Hoopeston; Jeffrey Rogers, 53, Tuscola; Christina Koester, 31, Sullivan; and Sheryl Jestis, 42, Decatur were arrested on various felony charges and taken to the Douglas County Jail, according to a press from the sheriff’s office.

According to Police Chief Craig Hastings, Tuscola Police began receiving information from confidential sources in the early morning hours Tuesday, July 25 of Torres’s movements. Tuscola police began coordinating their efforts with Douglas County Sheriff’s deputies soon after.

“Tuscola Police had been in contact with several sources of the probable location of a pickup stolen as the result of a police pursuit of a motorcycle stolen in Tuscola,” Tuscola police say. “Police had been working to learn the location of Torres after having two motorcycles stolen in almost as many weeks.”

During the investigation law enforcement located the stolen vehicle taken from Champaign County during last week’s pursuit, the sheriff’s office reports. Torres was charged with unlawful possession of a stolen vehicle as well as the theft of the Harley Davidson motorcycle previously reported stolen from Tuscola last week that Torres was purported to be driving when the pursuit began.

In addition to the stolen vehicles being recovered, officers located several items associated with methamphetamine manufacturing and equipment, including but not limited to hoses, fuels, tanks converted to hold anhydrous ammonia, filters, and scales. In addition, officers located and seized cannabis plants being grown on the property.

Torres, Rogers, Koester, and Jestis are all being held in the Douglas County Jail pending their formal arraignment on various felony methamphetamine related charges including possession of methamphetamine manufacturing materials. Torres is also charged with motor vehicle theft and possession of a stolen motor vehicle.

All parties are deemed to be innocent until proven guilty in a court of law, Sheriff Fred Galey said.

Both agencies continue to follow leads that may be connected to other crimes as a result of the arrests last Tuesday, Tuscola police say.