Chicago Strike Force Investigation Leads to Federal Charges for
CHICAGO – An Oak Park man was arrested last night and charged in federal court today with possession with intent to distribute phencyclidine, which is commonly known as “PCP.” At the time of his arrest, Reginald Jackson, age 32, was in possession of four 32 ounce bottles that contained liquid PCP.
The federal charges were announced today by Jack Riley, Special Agent in Charge of the DEA’s Chicago Field Division, Garry McCarthy, Superintendent of the Chicago Police Department, and Patrick J. Fitzgerald, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois.
The current investigation is targeting the transportation, via commercial airlines, of wholesale quantities of liquid PCP into the Chicago area and its dissemination to wholesale customers who, in turn, distribute the narcotics to individuals working for them who sell the drugs to retail, street-level customers.
According to the complaint affidavit, a s part of this investigation, a joint Chicago Strike Force has identified Reginald Jackson as a significant supplier of narcotics. Specifically, during the course of this investigation, the Strike Force has learned that Jackson is a ramp agent/baggage handler for Southwest Airlines at Midway Airport in Chicago, Illinois and in that position, has significant access to a number of secured areas of Midway Airport, including the baggage handling areas under the jet way and elsewhere.
Beginning in January 2012, a cooperating source (“CS”) participated in several recorded conversations with Jackson. During these conversations, the CS and Jackson discussed Jackson travelling to the southern California area in order to transport quantities of liquid PCP back to Chicago.
On February 14, 2012, at approximately 3:30 p.m., the CS had a recorded telephone conversation with Jackson discussing what was believed to be arrangements to meet later that day to conduct a drug transaction. During this conversation, Jackson said, “Call me when you get to the house,” referring to Jackson’s house in Oak Park. The CS then asked, “You still putting it together? So come to the crib?” Jackson replied, “Yeah, yeah. Call me when you get there.” Phone location information established that, at the time of this call, Jackson was inside Midway Airport.
On February 14, 2012, at approximately 6:15 p.m., DEA Agents and Chicago Police Officers, conducting surveillance, observed Jackson leaving an apartment complex in Oak Park and drive towards Jackson’s residence in Oak Park. The agents and officers subsequently arrested Jackson, who was found to be in possession of a black shoulder bag that contained four 32 ounce bottles filled with an amber colored liquid, later identified as PCP.
The charges resulted from a Chicago Strike Force operation that targeted two fundamental components of the drug trade. They include the importation/transportation of bulk quantities of illegal narcotics into the Chicago area and the resulting distribution of those narcotics to wholesale and retail customers, such as street gangs, throughout the Northern District of Illinois. The Strike Force is a cooperative effort between the Chicago Police Department and the DEA, as well as the ATF, IRS, FBI, HSI, Secret Service, US Marshal’s Service, Illinois State Police, US Attorney’s Office and the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office.
Jackson appeared today before United States Magistrate Judge Maria Valdez and was held until his bond hearing, scheduled for Friday at 1:30 p.m.
The government is being represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher Hotaling.
Possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance, phencyclidine, carries a maximum penalty of twenty years in prison. If convicted, the Court must impose a reasonable sentence under the advisory United States Sentencing Guidelines.
A complaint contains only charges and is not evidence of guilt. The defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial, at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.Parents and children are encouraged to educate themselves about the dangers of drugs by visiting DEA’s interactive websites at www.JustThinkTwice.com, www.GetSmartAboutDrugs.com and www.dea.gov.