I’m pleased to report that Chicago and Evanston police successfully shut down two open air drug markets in the Howard Street area. As a result of an undercover investigation, 19 members of the Insane Black Mafia Street Gang were arrested. Coined “Operation Triple Threat,” the investigation represents the first joint operation between Chicago and Evanston police this year in an effort to dismantle illegal narcotics sales.
The Chicago Police Department’s Narcotics and Gang Investigation Section launched the investigation in March 2007 after my office and community leaders complained about suspected drug activity in the area bounded by Howard Street on the north, Rogers Avenue on the south, Ridge Boulevard on the west, and Clark Street on the east.
The investigation initially revealed that a new faction of the Black P Stones street gang, known as the Insane Black Mafia Street Gang, was selling crack cocaine in the area. Undercover officers disguised as regular paying customers purchased large amounts of crack cocaine. As the investigation continued, more undercover officers became involved and made contact with the mid-level dealers.
Evanston police alerted Chicago police that the crack cocaine was also being sold in Evanston, and the investigation branched northward to include a second open air market in that city. Through the combined efforts of Chicago and Evanston police, a total of 23 successful undercover buys were made and 22 narcotics dealers and suppliers were identified. Over 97 grams of crack cocaine and over $4,000 in U.S. currency were confiscated.
All the undercover narcotics buys took place within 1,000 feet of a park or school, thus increasing the penalties for those arrested.
Operation Triple Threat represents the sixth successful undercover operation in the 49th Ward in the last two and a half years.
I congratulate 24th District Commander Bruce Rottner and the Chicago and Evanston police for a job well done. Operation Triple Threat demonstrates that gangs, guns and illegal drugs have no geographical boundaries, and that cooperative efforts such as those forged by the Chicago and Evanston police, are critical in the fight for safer communities.
This operation has had a major effect on street narcotic sales in our community, but the work is not done. I urge you to get involved. Go to your beat meeting. Form a block club. Organize a neighborhood watch. Contact my office at 773-338-5796, and we’ll tell you how!