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Federal drug charges in Chicago case could mean life sentences

According to federal prosecutors, heroin in Chicago was just a phone call away. Potential buyers simply had to call a number and their drug of choice would arrive at a predetermined location (usually in the West Garfield Park neighborhood), ready to be purchased.

Prosecutors recently unsealed criminal complaints in U.S. District Court in Chicago against 22 defendants for federal drug trafficking offenses involving heroin and fentanyl. An additional 13 people have been charged in Cook County Criminal Court with Illinois state complaints.

The investigation called “Operation Road Rage” also resulted in the seizure of a kilo of heroin (much of it containing fentanyl), five guns, four vehicles and about $100,000 in cash.

A number of defendants are accused of delivering both heroin and fentanyl-laced heroin after customers called in orders.

Two people facing drug-offense charges are a boyfriend and girlfriend who live together in Michigan City. "They were charged with conspiracy to distribute heroin over 100 grams," a La Porte County Drug Task Force spokesperson said. "They were buying heroin in Chicago and bringing it back here to sell in La Porte County, we believe. They were arrested with quite a bit of heroin, nearly 100 grams."

Undercover cops apparently made approximately 50 narcotics buys by calling the hotline, placing orders and then meeting drug delivery personnel.

According to a court document, when the 31-year-old Michigan City woman was arrested, police said they found 145 small heroin packets tucked away in her bra.

The charges the defendants face could result in sentences of between 20 years and life in prison upon conviction, prosecutors told a news source.

Stakes cannot be higher in matters such as these. Before speaking to prosecutors, defendants facing these kinds of harsh punishments should speak to a Chicago attorney experienced in aggressive, effective drug trafficking defense.

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Darryl A. Goldberg
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