Lake Michigan’s waves lap at one of the borders of Chicago’s Kenwood neighborhood. According to police, one end of an illegal drug pipeline is there in one of the city’s better-known communities and the other end is in Texas.
Ten people have been arrested on federal drug charges in “Operation Grapevine,” an investigation of the pipeline, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois said. Law enforcement officials said 14 kilos of cocaine and more than a dozen guns were seized in a raid on a Kenwood home.
Officers also took possession of about $215,000 in cash and gold, plus diamond jewelry estimated to be worth at least $30,000.
A 50-year-old Tinley Park man has been named as the alleged leader of the drug-trafficking operation that allegedly distributed at least 23 kilos of coke in the city’s area over a period of three months, investigators claim. According to a news report, the drugs were driven in an 18-wheeler from Texas twice a month by a 40-year-old man.
A 37-year-old Houston man has been identified by prosecutors as a facilitator who sometimes flew to Chicago to help with the transactions.
Officials claim that the drugs were delivered to a truck yard in south suburb Riverdale.
Four local men – ages 51, 34 45 and 38 – have been accused of then distributing the cocaine in the Chicago area. Two other men – ages 60 and 53 – were identified as wholesale customers who also conspired to distribute the narcotics.
All of those charged face the possibility of lengthy incarceration if convicted. It is important for each to have an experienced criminal defense attorney assess and discuss evidence, charges and legal options.