Latin Kings targeted in drug bust
CHICAGO (WLS) -- Dozens of Chicago gang members were arrested in a federal crackdown on drug trafficking on the city's Southwest Side. The investigation began four years ago and targeted dealers in the Little Village neighborhood.
The charges are against 40 members of what the federal government calls the highly-organized and powerful Latin Kings street gang. Police say many suspects, who face either federal or state charges, are allegedly high-ranking gang members on the South Side.
The investigation involved an alleged gang leader turned informant
For years, the Latin Kings street gang has been dominant in Chicago's Little Village neighborhood. The federal government says 30-year-old Vicente Garcia is one of the gang's regional leaders. He and 39 others were charged Wednesday for drug trafficking in a case that the feds and Chicago police say is a major blow against the gang's leadership organization.
"By doing this, we essentially eliminated the entire command and control structure of the Latin Kings in the little village neighborhood. And if you extrapolate that over seven regions, this investigation by the charges today, eliminated about one seventh of the command and control structure of the Latin Kings in Chicago," said Robert Grant, F.B.I. Chicago.
The four-year joint FBI and Chicago police investigation involved an informant known as CW1. According to the federal complaint, the informant was a Latin Kings gang member since 1993 and was responsible for security and looking out for law enforcement at gang meetings.
"One of the things they did was they used an enforcer to make sure that no one showed up at the meeting wearing a wire. And we are here today largely because the person they assigned to check for wires wore a wire himself," said U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald.
As a result, 40 alleged gang members were charged Wednesday. Twenty-nine of the suspects were picked up earlier Wednesday morning; many of the arrests were made in the Little Village neighborhood. Police continue to look for 11 more people, including Garcia.
Alderman Ricardo Munoz, 22nd Ward, says the arrests are a welcome move....
"It reduces the amount of guns and drugs that are on the street. And at the end of the day, these thugs need to know they can't be preying on our young men and women in our neighborhood," said Ald. Ricardo Munoz, 22nd Ward.
According to FBI officials, video and audio surveillance was used in the investigation.
Several of the alleged gang members who were taken into custody on Wednesday will appear in court Thursday.
- Lake Shore Drive reopens after 8-hour standoff 28 min ago
- Girl, about 3, found dead in Riverdale woods
- Toddler reported missing on South Side 31 min ago
- ABC7 First Alert Weather Forecast 31 min ago
- Chicago celebrates St. Patrick's Day 2014
- Suspect in officer's death held on $10 mil bond
- Teen stabbed during Little Village robbery
- Des Plaines Oasis closing for good Sunday night
- GOP gubernatorial candidates make last campaign push
- Parolee charged in fatal shooting
- Gary man shot, killed at South Side party
- Fred Phelps, of Westboro Baptist Church, suffers health issues 8 min ago
- ON DEMAND: St. Patrick's Day Parade
- abcnews: Honda Recalls 900,000 Odyssey Minivans
- ABC7 First Alert Weather Forecast
31 min ago
- Lake Shore Drive reopens after 8-hour...
28 min ago
Most Viewed StoriesMost Viewed Photos