Twelve people were arrested during a Southeast Side drug bust that nettled more than $730,000 in narcotics, according to Chicago police.
The disbanded drug market was purportedly controlled by members of the Gangster Disciple and Black P. Stone street gangs, and a Mexican drug-trafficking cartel, police said.
On Thursday, officers from the department’s narcotics unit and South Chicago District made the 12 arrests and seized about $722,000 in marijuana and $10,000 in crack cocaine, heroin and drug money, police said. Also seized were five vehicles and two handguns.
The narcotics unit officers initiated the surveillance on the drug operation and infiltrated it. Undercover officers made purchases to identify the suspects before arrest and search warrants were devised for the bust, police said.
Two other suspects remain at large. The other 12 face drug-related charges.
The investigation was centered around the areas of the 7900 block of South Bennett Avenue, and the 7900 block of South Yates Boulevard. Police said it also extended into southern Cook County.
“The Chicago Police Department continues its efforts to alleviate violence and chronic narcotic markets in all neighborhoods,” James O’Grady, commander of the narcotics unit, said in a news release.
Police did not detail the charges against the 12 defendants, saying they were charged with various narcotics-related counts:
• Melvin Birgans, 55, of the 7700 block of South Bennett.
• Steven Willis, 23, of the 6700 block of South Jeffery Blvd.
• Donald Strickland, 55, of the 8100 block of South Bennett.
• Darrell Williams, 22, of the 8000 block of South Euclid.
• Richard Pierce, 56, of the 2100 block of East 79th St.
• Robert Brandy, 41, of the 7500 block of South Hoyne.
• Adrian Fields, 55, of the 7700 block of South Bennett.
• Gary Johnson, 56, of the 1700 block of East 78th St.
• Alejandro Medina, 34, of the 500 block of Lincoln, Calumet City.
• Juan Castro, 28, of the 2500 block of Dorothy Dr., Aurora.
• Darryl Hardy, 32, of the 1000 block of East 41st Pl.
• April Felton, 22, of the 7800 block of South Langley.
Pierce was charged with unlawful delivery of a controlled substance and possession of a controlled substance. Birgans, Willis, Strickland, Brandy, Felton and Johnson were charged with unlawful delivery of a controlled substance. Fields was charged with possession of a control and resisting a police officer, and Hardy and Castro were charged with possession of more than 5,000 grams of marijuana.
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