Drug Sting Targets Gang Members In Humboldt Park

CHICAGO (STNG)  -- An undercover operation lasting more than two months in the Humboldt Park neighborhood has led to charges against 19 suspected gang members and the arrests of 15, police announced Thursday.

Members of the Maniac Latin Disciples and Latin Jivers sold crack cocaine and other drugs in an open-air market near Washtenaw Avenue between Division and LeMoyne streets on the West Side, according to a release from Chicago Police. “Operation Humboldt Pie” wrapped up last week with the issuance of 19 arrest warrants, the release said.

Police began focusing on the drug hot spot in August, the release said. “This drug market became an increasing source of concern as drug sales escalated and shootings related to this narcotics activity increased,” Lt. Kenneth Angarone of the Narcotics and Gang Investigations Section said in the release.

Undercover officers spent about 2 1/2 months on the operation, using mobile and video surveillance, and 14 controlled drug purchases, the release said. Drugs and cash were seized during the arrests.

Among those arrested last week were Jonathan Feliciano, 24, a self-admitted member of the Latin Jivers, who police allege ran the drug market. He oversaw a crew of three street managers and more than a dozen workers, including five juveniles, the release said.

Feliciano and five others were charged with criminal drug conspiracy, while nine suspects were charged with delivery of a controlled substance, two with possession of a controlled substance and two with possession of cannabis, the release said.

Fifteen of the 19 warrants led to arrests, while police are still seeking Steve Renteria, 22; Michael Holmes, 18; Jose Rosario, 17; and Emmanuel Bass, 28, according to the release.