I'm pleased to report the Chicago Police Department last week concluded an undercover investigation that resulted in the arrests of seventeen known gang members and their associates. Arrest warrants have been obtained for four other offenders that remain at large.
Dubbed "Operation Last Stop," the investigation disrupted a $1.6 million-dollar-a-year gang-controlled drug enterprise. The investigation targeted members of the Gangster Disciples street gang. Though the illegal drug activity was centered on and around Howard Street and Gale Community Academy, the gang was involved in a conflict over territory, which has resulted in several shootings throughout the East Rogers Park neighborhood in the last several months.
The investigation involved dozens of narcotics purchases by undercover officers from known gang members and their associates. These narcotics transactions all occurred within 1,000 feet of school property in the area, which will enable authorities to increase the charges and ultimately the time of incarceration.
During the course of the operation, police seized quantities of cash, crack cocaine, one vehicle, and two handguns, one of which was used in an attempted armed robbery of an undercover officer conducting the investigation.
I will hold a COMMUNITY MEETING with 24th District Police Commander James Roussell on Tuesday, December 20, 7 p.m., at Gale Community Academy, 1631 W. Jonquil (between Ashland and Marshfield).
Commander Roussell will provide up-to-date information on the status of the investigation and respond to your questions. He will enlist the support of community residents so that together we can take proactive steps to prevent the illegal drug trade from re-establishing itself on Howard Street and elsewhere in the neighborhood.
I know these long investigations can often seem frustrating to community residents who see crimes occurring but don't always see arrests being made. But I also know that these longer investigations are more likely to result in convictions that get gang members off our streets for good. I encourage you to attend the meeting next week so you can find out what you can do to work with the police and your local CAPS Beat organization to build on the success of this undercover investigation and make our neighborhood safer.