Chicago’s West Side was a hotbed of police activity on June 12, according to local news sources. Illinois authorities led a crackdown in the city’s notorious drug district and have charged 27 people with drug crime-related charges. A news release has reported the charges have been filed both on state and federal levels.
These arrests came at the end of a year-long investigation into the heroin trade in the city. Many of those arrested have alleged ties to several prominent Chicago street gangs, including the Conservative Vice Lords who are believed to control much of the drug trade in the area. Among those arrested is the alleged leader of the aforementioned gang, who is believed to have controlled the distribution of crack cocaine and heroin throughout the West Side.
The charges filed against the 27 individuals vary from possession to intent to distribute, and law enforcement suggested that further charges seem likely. As part of the overall crackdown, many firearms and cash, as well as a half-kilo of what is believed to be heroin, were seized. If convicted, those facing the harshest charges could face up to 20 years in a federal prison.
It is important to note that crackdowns of this nature must be the subject of no small amount of scrutiny in a court of law. In order for the individuals arrested to be found guilty of drug crime charges, both federal and Illinois law enforcement will have to prove their crackdown took place well within the bounds of the law and with due process for the rights of the accused individuals. If the rights of any accused individuals were ignored during the arrest process, evidence may be rendered inadmissible when the case is heard in court.
Source: suntimes.com, “27 charged in West Side drug market”, Becky Schlikerman, June 12, 2014