(STNG) CHICAGO Following an extensive three-and-a-half month undercover investigation in the Englewood neighborhood, eight people were taken into custody Wednesday and arrest warrants were issued for three others.
Operation Ashland Connection targeted an open-air drug market near 72nd Street and Ashland Avenue controlled by the Gangster Disciples street gang, according to a release from police News Affairs.
The market sold crack cocaine in plain view of children and citizens while operating within 1,000 feet of nine different churches, two schools, and a park, the release said.
During the investigation, launched in September, officers video taped and recorded numerous undercover drug purchases made while building a drug conspiracy case against the alleged gang members.
The investigation was launched in response to a number of violent incidents in the area, as well as complaints from Englewood District Police personnel and neighbors, according to the release.
After 19 purchases, police executed one search warrant, seizing about 75 grams of crack cocaine worth nearly $9,300 along with two handguns, the release said.
Fifty-six open-air drug markets have been dismantled by the police so far this year after having shut down 53 markets last year and charging a total of 735 drug dealers, according to the release.
Of the eight people in custody, four were charged with criminal drug conspiracy: Tawan Langston, 26, Jermaine White, 21, Cedric White, 17, and Doran Robinson, 26, the release said. Marquis Scott, 24, Walter Taylor, 21, and a 15-year-old and 16-year-old male were charged with delivery of controlled substances.
Still wanted on warrants are Julian Hall, 18, Warnell Sisson, 19, and Lorenzo Smith, 18, according to the release.