Police drug sweeps net 38 this week


Chicago Tribune, July 24th, 2004

Chicago police arrested 38 people this week and are seeking seven more in a series of drug stings on the West Side that capped a six- week operation, officials announced Friday.

The arrests began Wednesday, when police apprehended 11 alleged drug dealers. John Risley, deputy chief of the organized crime division, said the suspects are members of the Undertaker Vice Lords, who sold about $3,000 a day in heroin, crack cocaine and marijuana.

During their investigation, police made 20 drug buys totaling 36.8 grams of heroin. Six people were charged with criminal drug conspiracy, including two co-leaders who are in police custody, Risley said. Twelve others were charged with delivery of a controlled substance.

On Thursday police turned the tables and posed as drug dealers, arresting 27 people who sought to buy drugs in the same location, said spokesman Pat Camden.

Information from one of the suspects may help in the investigation of a Feb. 9 homicide in the 500 block of South Cicero Avenue, Risley said.

Police said they have stopped 14 outdoor drug markets and arrested more than 180 drug dealers in 2004.