CROWN POINT — A magistrate entered not guilty pleas Monday on behalf of a brother and sister charged with dealing cocaine and THC vape cartridges out of a Munster nail salon.
Judy Le Leung, 39, of Munster, and Jimmy Van Le, 37, of Niles, Michigan, each appeared with an attorney for an initial hearing before Lake Criminal Court Magistrate Kathleen Sullivan.
Leung and Le each were released from the Lake County Jail on May 25, after posting a $4,500 surety bond.
Leung's attorney, Thomas Mullins, asked Sullivan to grant permission for Leung to travel to Illinois for work. Leung left a young boy sitting in the gallery while she appeared before the magistrate. Sullivan granted permission to Leung.
Sullivan also granted permission to Le to live in Michigan while awaiting trial.
Authorities say they purchased cocaine and THC cartridges from Leung, Le or both on five separate occasions in April and May, according to court records.
Agents with the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and officers serving on an ATF task force began an investigation of Leung after receiving information in March that she was selling drugs out of Dashing Diva Nails by Judy, 227 Ridge Road in Munster, records say.
According to court records, the investigation included the following undercover drug buys:
— A purchase of about 28 grams of suspected cocaine April 2 from Leung for $1,500. Leung is accused of walking out the back door of the nail salon and delivering the drugs to an undercover agent sitting in a car.
— A purchase of about 58 grams of suspended cocaine from Leung for $2,400 on April 11 at the nail salon. Leung allegedly delivered the drugs packaged in a pink plastic bottle inside a white bag.
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— A purchase of 112 grams of suspected cocaine from Leung and Le on April 26 for $4,800 at the nail salon.
— A purchase of about 58 grams of suspected cocaine for $2,400 from Le on May 9 in the parking lot of the Munster Applebee's Bar and Grill.
— A purchase of 24 suspected THC vape cartridges from Leung for $700 on May 16 at the nail salon. Each cartridge contained about 1 gram of THC oil.
— A planned purchase of 339 grams of suspected cocaine May 23 from Le at the Applebee's for $13,200.
Le was arrested while counting money provided by police during the May 23 transaction, court records say.
Authorities also executed a search warrant May 23 at the nail salon and on a Toyota Sienna in the salon's parking lot, seizing 601 THC cartridges and $1,651 in cash, records say.
Leung's next court hearing is set for June 17. Le's next court date is Aug. 8.