CHICAGO — Eighteen individuals have been charged in federal court with conspiring to sell heroin or fentanyl-laced heroin on the Northwest Side of Chicago.
The defendants participated in a drug trafficking operation that was responsible for distributing approximately 12.6 kilograms of heroin, more than 23 kilograms of heroin laced with fentanyl or fentanyl-analogue, and 2.56 kilograms of heroin laced with both fentanyl and fentanyl analogue, according to a criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Chicago. Much of the alleged drug trafficking occurred in the Humboldt Park neighborhood on the Northwest Side of Chicago.
During the multi-year investigation, dubbed “Operation Monticello’s Revenge,” law enforcement shut down a busy open-air drug market utilized by the defendants in the 1000 block of North Monticello Avenue in Chicago. Agents and officers from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and Chicago Police Department made approximately eighty undercover purchases of heroin and fentanyl-laced heroin from various members of the crew, the charges allege.
Most of the 18 federal defendants were arrested last week and have begun making initial appearances in U.S. District Court in Chicago. In addition to the federal defendants, four other individuals were charged in state court and will be prosecuted by the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office.
The federal charges were announced by John R. Lausch, Jr., United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; Robert J. Bell, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Field Division of the DEA; and David Brown, Superintendent of CPD. Substantial assistance was provided by the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office and the IRS Criminal Investigation Division in Chicago. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Richard M. Rothblatt and Jason A. Julien represent the government.
The investigation was conducted with the support of the Chicago High Intensity Drug Trafficking Task Force (HIDTA). The task force is comprised of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies who work together to identify, disrupt, and dismantle the most serious drug trafficking organizations.
Charged in the federal drug conspiracy are: SAM HOWARD, 32; WILLIE TATE, 45; KELVIN FRANKLIN, 28; STEVEN DYER, 43; MORRIO BONDS, 37; ANTONIO LEE, 39; DWAYNE PETERSON, 36; ANTHONY DAVIS, 30; FLOYD STEWART, 35; WILL HOWARD, 29; TORIAN JOHNSON, 26; JAMES HUGHES, 36; KAMRON GARRAWAY, 27; SAVAN WARD, 28; JEREMY HAMPTON, 31; JOHNNIE DANIELS, 34; and ROBERT STUCKEY, 20, all of Chicago; and BRYANT BARNES, 29, of Justice.
According to the federal complaint, Sam Howard and Franklin personally sold drugs and also worked as street-level managers of the trafficking organization. They coordinated with Tate, Bonds, and Lee to ensure that the crew had sufficient quantities of narcotics to distribute to customers, the complaint states. The other defendants allegedly served as street-level traffickers who would give Sam Howard and Franklin the proceeds from the sales.
The complaint also describes an attempt by Franklin to secure a handgun for use at the Monticello Avenue drug market. In October 2019, Franklin asked a woman to deliver the loaded gun to members of the drug trafficking organization, the complaint states. Law enforcement intervened in the delivery and the gun was never delivered, the complaint states. The firearms aspect of the federal probe remains under investigation.
The public is reminded that a complaint contains only charges and is not evidence of guilt. The defendants are presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. If convicted, the Court must impose reasonable sentences under federal sentencing statutes and the advisory U.S. Sentencing Guidelines.