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.
While much media attention is focused on the opioids epidemic, fewer headlines are devoted to the resurgence of methamphetamine. The powerful stimulant has regained the popularity it had back in the 1990s and early 2000s.
Richard Wallace, the founder of the non-profit Chicago civil rights and justice organization, Equity and Transformation (EAT) says the legalization of recreational marijuana in Illinois presents us with “the greatest contradiction that we've seen.” Wallace points out that a “poor person sells cannabis to put food on the table; they're a criminal. A wealthy person sells cannabis to make more wealth; they're touted as innovators."
If you laid out the 15,582 plastic-wrapped bricks of cocaine end-to-end, they would stretch two and a half miles, officials said. The Chicago Sun-Times reported that some of the confiscated haul was recently put on display by federal law enforcement agents who said they seized more than 17 tons of the drug a few days ago at the Port of Philadelphia.
Most of us who drive on the Eisenhower Expressway going in or out of Chicago are too focused on the traffic to think about being watched as we navigate the busy roadway. News reports about the installation of 20 high-tech surveillance cameras along the expressway mean that it is time to think about being observed by authorities.
A West Side Chicago man was about 40 miles from his Lawndale home when he was recently arrested in suburban Joliet. The 25-year-old faces several serious charges, according to his hometown newspaper, including manufacture and delivery of a heroin-like substance, manufacture and delivery of a cocaine-like substance, possession of a weapon by felon and possession of a firearm by a street gang member.
Charges against two Chicago men are serious, though law enforcement officials say the allegations could become much more serious. One of the men has been charged with felony drug offenses, including the manufacture or of heroin and possession of a controlled substance, according to Cook County court records.
There is no doubt that some of our Chicago readers attended Western Illinois University in Macomb. While the town is usually sleepy (except for student parties, of course), it woke up recently to news of arrests on drug-trafficking and firearms charges.
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.
Former Chicago police Sgt. Eddie Hicks took off 15 years ago rather than face trial. But the manhunt that went from Cook County to Texas to Brazil came to an end a few months ago in Detroit. Now the former officer faces federal charges of racketeering conspiracy, drug-trafficking conspiracy, theft of government funds and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug crime.