Two men arrested after a shootout with police on the North Side are believed responsible for at least three mass killings last year, all of them linked to drug dealing, law enforcement sources say.
Augustin Toscano, 29, and Raul Segura-Rodriguez, 36, were arrested late Saturday night after two people were stabbed to death and a pursuing police officer was shot on the Far North Side. The suspected ringleader, Arturo Ibarra, 37, was shot and killed by police during the chase, which crisscrossed the Edgewater neighborhood.
The three have been linked to at least 10 other slayings across Chicago:
-- In September, four men were shot execution-style on a quiet block in the West Lawn neighborhood, and police at the time said they were targets of a drug-related attack.
The men's hands, feet and mouths had been bound with duct tape when police found them face-down on the garage floor, a law enforcement source said. Three children in the home were taken into protective custody.
-- In April, two brothers and a third man were found beaten and bound, their hands behind their backs, in a stolen car in the McKinley Park neighborhood on the Southwest Side. , police said. Two of the bodies were found in the trunk, the other in the rear seat, authorities said.
-- About a month after the men were found in McKinley Park, three men were found dead in a car left in an industrial area near West 48th Place and South Whipple Street last May. Two victims had been shot multiple times inside the car, while the third man was found in the trunk.
One of the victims had confessed to being a bagman in a drug operation, transporting cash collected in drug sales to Mexico.
Ibarra, Toscano and Segura-Rodriguez worked for a roofing company on the South Side, but officials say they also peddled drugs. They would set up drug deals with buyers they knew, and when large amounts of money were involved, they would rob and kill the buyers, a police source said.
The crime spree came to a dramatic end that virtually locked down much of the Edgewater neighborhood late Saturday.
Gang crime officers were on surveillance, looking into a narcotics-related homicide, when they spotted a group of people run from an apartment building in the 5800 block of North Winthrop Avenue at about 5:30 p.m. just as a call of "shots fired" was heard on the police radio, officials said.
Police discovered two victims with their throats slit inside the apartment and a third man was critically injured.
The victims were identified as Joel Diaz, 33, of the 5700 block of North Ridge Avenue, and Ramito Mendoza, 37, of the 1100 block of Grove Avenue in Bensenville, according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office.
Diaz has a felony drug conviction in 2006, court records show.
Ibarra, Toscano and Segura-Rodriquez fled in a dark pickup truck, racing north and ramming a squad car. The suspects fired at police and shot one officer — a 12-year veteran cop — in the leg near the intersection of Broadway and Thorndale Avenue.
The three men continued to fire at police until officers stopped the truck, returning fire and killing Ibarra and arresting the two others near the intersection of Devon and Greenview avenues, police said. Ibarra died of multiple gunshot wounds to the head, according to the Cook County medical examiner's office.
Earlier Saturday, Chicago police had watched the three buy rolls of duct tape and boxes that they then made to look like packages of narcotics for the robbery, prosecutors said today.
Following the chase and shootout, authorities recovered the phony packages, along with a 6½-inch bloody knife, two handguns and six bundles of cash, prosecutors told Associate Cook County Judge Israel Desierto. He ordered Toscano and Segura-Rodriguez held without bail.
Toscano and Segura-Rodriguez are each charged with three counts of first-degree murder, three counts of attempted first-degree murder, one count of home invasion with a firearm and aggravated fleeing with bodily injury.
Toscano also is charged with aggravated battery to a peace officer.Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times