Drug Pipeline dismantled: 10 defendants charged

Drug Pipeline dismantled: 10 defendants charged

Federal law enforcement has carried out an investigation resulting in seizing of more than 14 kilograms of cocaine and 15 firearms which dismantled a Texas-to-Chicago narcotics pipeline. As a result of the investigation, ten defendants are facing charges. The authorities had carried investigation dubbed “Operation Grapevine,” in which they had shut down a drug stash house in a lakefront condominium in the Kenwood neighborhood of Chicago.

The authorities had also confiscated approximately $215,000 in cash, and gold and diamond jewelry with an estimated value of more than $30,000. The defendants have been recently arrested from Illinois and Texas.

John R. Lausch, Jr., United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; Robert J. Bell, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Field Division of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration; Timothy Jones, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Field Division of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives; Larry L. Lapp, acting Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago office of the FBI; James M. Gibbons, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago office of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations; and Eddie Johnson, Superintendent of the Chicago Police Department announced the charges.

IRS Criminal Investigation Division, U.S. Marshals Service, Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office, and Illinois State Police provided substantial assistance in the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kelly Guzman, Katherine Neff Welsh, and Brian Kerwin represented the government.  Chicago High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area program (HIDTA) led the investigation.

Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) provided support to HIDTA. The programs partner with all the agencies to probe and dismantle the most serious drug trafficking organizations. In this investigation, all the defendants have made initial appearances in federal court

Senior writer at the Chicago Morning Star

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