A total of 19 Chicago-area men are facing federal or state charges after a nearly three-year-long investigation into gang-related drug and weapon sales in the Humboldt Park area, authorities announced today.
The arrests were made Tuesday after federal charges were unsealed against some of the 19, with others facing state charges as part of the three-year investigation by Joint Task Force on Gangs. Many of those arrested are suspected members or associates of the Imperial Gangsters street gang, according to an FBI news release.
According to the charges, those arrested took part in ongoing sales of cocaine and heroin, and possessed illegal weapons, mostly on the Near Northwest Side near Humboldt Park, from at least December 2009 until May.
In addition to the FBI, members of the Chicago, Franklin Park and Stirling police departments took part in the investigation, along with the U.S. Attorney's office, the Illinois Attorney General's office, the Cook County State's Attorney's office and others.
The investigation used undercover and controlled purchases of illegal narcotics and firearms, along with court authorized electronic surveillance of telephones.
More than a kilogram of crack cocaine, 250 grams of powder cocaine and 125 grams of heroin were recovered, the FBI said, along with 31 firearms, about $4,000 in cash and three vehicles.
Those arrested on federal charges have appeared in court and are being held until their next court dates, while those facing state charges are taking part in bond court hearings, authorities said.
“The street gang targeted in this mission is a violent, organized criminal organization with a history of violence in our city, including the shooting of a Chicago Police officer,” Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy said in a release. “This investigation especially highlights the entrenched relationship between gangs, guns, and drugs, and demonstrates that the Chicago Police and our federal law enforcement partners are committed to confronting and eradicating the problem.”Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun