Cops say they've shut open-air drug market

CHICAGO - Chicago police announced Wednesday that they have shut down an open-air drug market in the Humboldt Park neighborhood on the city's West Side.

Fifteen gang members have been charged with criminal drug conspiracy, and an additional person and a 16-year-old have been charged with drug possession. Ten people are in custody.

Police began their sting in December 2006 in the area between Chicago and Kedzie Avenues, Huron Street and Homan Avenue.

The investigation targeted the drug-dealing and street violence between two rival gangs, the Vice Lords and the Gangster Disciples, police said.

Police seized about $5,000 in cash, heroin worth $32,000, two handguns and are planning to seize 17 homes owned by the dealers.