A federal indictment has been unsealed this week which has charged ten alleged members of the LAFA street gang with participating in a criminal organization that murdered its rivals and violently protected its drug-dealing territories on the South Side of Chicago. Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) conducted an investigation that uncovered the criminal activity.
Drug or firearm charges were originally filed in related cases against eleven individuals. The individuals included a woman and two of her sons. The superseding indictment unsealed this week has added new defendants. The indictment alleges acts of violence, including four murders and 13 attempted murders. Ten of the defendants are facing new charges including racketeering conspiracy.
In Illinois, Indiana, and Minnesota arrests were carried out this week. One of the defendants was arraigned this week in federal court in Chicago. The arraignment dates for others have not been scheduled yet. The law enforcement authorities had seized 34 firearms, a machete and sheath, approximately a kilogram of cocaine, 78 pounds of marijuana, more than $190,000 in suspected illicit cash proceeds, designer clothing appraised at more than $300,000, Rolex watches during the multi-year probe.
The authorities had also seized numerous pieces of diamond jewelry, including two necklaces that had attached to them 14-carat gold pendants with the initials “LAFA” written in diamonds. John R. Lausch, Jr., United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; Emmerson Buie, Jr., Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago office of the FBI; and Charlie Beck, interim Superintendent of the Chicago Police Department announced the superseding indictment.
U.S. Attorney’s Offices in the Districts of Northern Indiana and Minnesota; Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office; U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives; IRS Criminal Investigation Division in Chicago; Illinois State Police; Cook County Sheriff’s Office; police departments in Orland Park, Evergreen Park, Bolingbrook and Joliet; Minnesota-based Lake Superior Drug and Violent Crimes Task Force; Duluth, Minn., Police Department; St. Louis County, Minn., State’s Attorney’s Office; and FBI offices in Minneapolis, Minn., and Indianapolis, Ind. provided substantial assistance.