Alleged gang king, 14 others charged

Chicago Sun-Times,  May 4, 2001  by STEVE WARMBIR

Reputed heroin kingpin and gang leader Cornell "Cornbread" Green knew the score if the feds took him down, according to a conversation the government secretly recorded.

"I already know what they going to do with me," Green said last year of the long prison time he would face. "But you know what? This is the road I chose to walk."

On Thursday, federal prosecutors announced they had charged Green and 14 members or associates of the Mickey Cobras street gang with running a heroin ring on the South Side since 1993.

Green, 41, of Country Club Hills, is in custody at the Metropolitan Correctional Center. The others named in the indictment Thursday are either in custody or warrants have been issued for their arrests.

Green, who had the title "king" in the Mickey Cobras, allegedly made up to $100,000 a week from drug sales, according to what one informant told Drug Enforcement Administration agents.

 The indictment is the second against the Mickey Cobras gang this year. In January, 19 other members or associates of the gang were arrested.

In a conversation last year, secretly recorded by the government, Green tells one man where Green himself ranks in the organization and what would happen to him if he's caught.

"Do you know what I'm considered as, man? A . . . kingpin. Man, you better recognize it, man. You better recognize who you (expletive) with," Green said, according to the government.

"You think these (expletive) want to catch me with something and give me five or 10 years? Those (expletive) want to send me away like Watketa, 40 and up."

Green was referring to Watketa Valenzuela, the son of Black P Stone Nation gang leader Jeff Fort. Valenzuela was convicted of drug crimes in 1997 and was sentenced to 40 years in prison.

"You know how many months you got to do out of the year in a federal penitentiary, man? Nine a month. . . . So I know what I'm going to get. . . . I don't want to be seeing my . . . grandkids coming up there and visiting me," Green said, according to the government.

Prosecutors are seeking $5 million to be forfeited, along with Green's house, a 1999 Cadillac Escalade SUV, a 1992 Acura NSX coupe and a 1992 Mercedes-Benz 400 SE sedan.