2 year drug probe nets 22 in gang N. Side neighborhood targeted.

Chicago Sun Times, July 1, 1999
by Cam Simpson

Scores of police officers and federal agents arrested 22 leaders ad members of a street gang in daybreak raids Wehnesday for allegedly running a massive drug operation in Humnbolt Park and in the trendy North Side Wicker ark and Bucktown neighborhoods.

Police Supt. Terry Hillard called the Maniac Latin Disciples one of the most violent street gangs in the city. Prosecutors say members of the gang have been convicted for or are suspected in dozens of slayings.

Authorities provided a snapshot of the gang's alleged drug activities in a 132-page affidavit unsealed Wednesday. They said the gang directed or controlled up to 1,600 wholesale or retail drug transactions a day spread across just eight sites identified in court filings. Those operations were protected with guns and violence, prosecutors charged.

Three of the eight sites are in either the Bucktown or Wicker Park nieghborhoods. The adjacent North Side enclaves which been quickly gentrifying in the last five years, harbor some the city's hottest new clubs and restaurants, as well as single family homes priced above $500,000 and three-bedroom condos starting at $250,000. The other sites identified are mostly in the Humbolt Park area.

The 22 people arrested Wednesday face federal drug conspiracy charges nd, if convicted, prison terms ranging from 10 years to life, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathon King. Seven other reputed gang members also were charged but remained at large Wednesday night.

Wednesday's raids by about 250 officers and agents from the Chicago police, FBI and U.S. Bureau of Alcohol and Tobacco, and Firearms netted drugs, cash and weapons. The raids followed a two year state and federal probe that included use of informants, surveillance and five wiretaps on the phones of gang leaders, including Thomas Outlaw Ross, 33, the alleged boss of the gang�s drug operation.

The arrests were particularly sweet for the Chicago police. On of their own, former gang crimes specialist Joseph Miedzianowski, a 23 year veteran of the force, stands accused of aiding the Maniac Latin Disciples and is awaiting trial in his own federal drug conspiracy case.

Cook Count State�s Attorney Dick Devine, who worked with the federal prosecutors on the case, said investigators uncovered a �depressingly widespread drug operation. Gang members stand accused of selling crack cocaine, marijuana and heroin. The Maniac Latin Disciples allegedly controlled 16 other not identified in court papers Wednesday.

Authorities said they hoped the bust would deal a major blow to the gang, although they feared other members or rivals, including the Spanish Cobras and Latin Jivers, would fill the void.

The FBI asked for help Wednesday in finding the seven men stillat large: Rafael Raplhy Hernandez, 23, of the 3300 block of North Kostner; Sandro Hitman Tentory, 24, of the 1300 block of North Bosworth; Jose Che Tamayo. 23, also of the 1300 block of North Bosworth; Darren Fat B Steele, 24, of the 1500 block of North Talman; Terrell Apache Agee, 25, of the 2600 block of West Wabansia; Pablo Bones Navarette, 21, of the 2200 block of North Leamington; and Juan Pops Ramos, 31, who has addresses in the 1500 block of North Ashland and the 1600 block or North Maplewood.