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MORE THAN 100 DRUG DEALERS ARRESTED IN UNDERCOVER INVESTIGATIONS

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Tuesday, September 28, 2010— Cook County Sheriff Thomas J. Dart and law enforcement leaders from across Cook County came together Tuesday to announce the results of a pair of joint, months-long drug investigations that led to the arrests of nearly 100 people – nearly all of them drug dealers affiliated with violent street gangs.

“Operation Hard Swipe” was led by the Evanston Police Department and included officers and investigators from the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office and the Cook County Sheriff’s Police Gangs Unit.  “Operation Wood View Park” was led by the Sheriff’s Police Department and included officers from Maywood, Bellwood and Broadview Police Departments. The two operations led to the seizures of 10 guns, $27,000 in cash and narcotics with an estimated street value of more than $622,000.

“Both of these operations are great examples of the types of cooperative law enforcement efforts that yield real results and help make the streets safer for everyone,” Dart said.  “We’re not going away. We will continue to work with these departments and others to identify, target, and stop drug dealers and gang members as they move from town to town, attempting to not only destroy lives, but also neighborhoods.”

Though separate operations, both came as a result of complaints about drug dealers taking over neighborhoods and leaving residents living in fear.
 
Participating agencies also sought to develop intelligence on unsolved criminal activities in the neighborhoods, including armed robberies, aggravated batteries and homicides. Those investigations remain ongoing.

But the effort is also part of a larger plan to improve communication between neighboring police agencies regarding suspicious activities in their cities. The departments involved in these collaborative operations shared information and gang intelligence as they investigated resident complaints and targeted known criminals from those communities.

“Operation Wood View Park” began in February 2010 and was aimed at drug dealers crossing into different municipalities to sell drugs. Over the course of eight months, officers conducted undercover drug buys, targeting dozens of street and mid-level drug dealers in a war on drugs in the western suburbs.

Officers from each police department identified known drug dealers in their town and began gathering intelligence about their activities and associates. Most of those targeted were members of the Black P Stones, Four Corner Hustlers and Latin Kings street gangs.  Undercover agents conducted multiple buys of heroin, cocaine & cannabis from each target.

“Operation Wood View Park” netted 71 arrests and led to the seizure of 1,166 grams of cocaine, 1,400 grams of heroin, and 1,530 grams of cannabis.  Also collected was more than $4000 in cash, four weapons, and ammunition.

“Operation Hard Swipe” began in April 2010 and targeted drug operations in Evanston and Rogers Park. The five-month operation targeted neighborhood dealers and those selling for and funneling money to the Gangster Disciples, Four Corner Hustlers, and other street gangs.  Cook County Sheriff’s Police and State’s Attorney investigators assisted in undercover buys using intelligence gathered by Evanston Police, and assisted with the execution of search warrants and arrests.

“Operation Hard Swipe” netted 36 targets.  Also recovered during search warrants and arrests was: six weapons, 26.6 grams of crack cocaine, 10.8 grams of heroin, 23.1 grams of ecstasy, 354.74 grams of cannabis, and $23,557.     

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