North Riverside man charged after concealing drugs in 'soup can'

RIVERSIDE – A North Riverside man who was concealing cannabis and prescription drugs in a container made to look like a Campbell's soup can was caught and charged with four felony counts Saturday. 

At 1:06 a.m., police spotted several men walking in a closed park near Blythe Park Elementary School and saw one man throw a Louie Vuitton backpack into a dumpster in the parking lot. After stopping the men, police discovered a false soup can inside the backpack containing 45 grams of cannabis, 18 Xanax bars and 23 Valium pills, along with a digital scale for measuring narcotics and plastic bags for packaging them. 

After discovering the drugs, police charged Casey C. Willoughby, 20, with felony possession of cannabis with intent to deliver, felony unlawful possession of cannabis, felony unlawful possession of two controlled substances, along with consumption of alcohol by a minor and being in a closed park after dark. 

The two other men with Willoughby – a 20-year-old from Brookfield and a 19-year-old from North Riverside – were cited for being in the closed park and released. 

Riverside police chief Thomas Weitzel said previous tips from residents led to Saturday's arrest. 

“Over the past several months the department has received complaints from neighbors that individuals were partying in the closed park adjacent to Blythe Park School," Weitzel said in a release. "A special patrol bulletin had been issued and officers made an on-view arrest when they spotted these individuals in the park after 1 a.m. It is disturbing to see that an individual had what could only be described as a mobile drug dispensary in his backpack. The fact that he had a Campbell’s soup can that is designed with a false top is also troubling.”