Fifteen Defendants Facing Federal Or State Charges For Selling Heroin, Cocaine And Crack Cocaine On Chicago’s South And West Sides
CHICAGO — Fifteen defendants are facing federal or state narcotics charges for their alleged roles in supplying and distributing heroin and cocaine on Chicago’s South and West Sides. A lengthy investigation led by agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration and officers of the Chicago Police Department assigned to the Chicago Strike Force, resulted in federal charges against twelve defendants and state charges against three others.
Police and federal agents from the Chicago Strike Force began arresting the defendants this morning. All twelve federal defendants are in custody.
The federal defendants were charged in seven separate criminal complaints filed yesterday in U.S. District Court and unsealed following the arrests. The federal defendants began making initial court appearances this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael T. Mason in Chicago. The state defendants were charged in separate complaints and will appear at a later time in state court.
According to affidavits filed in support of the federal arrests, the investigation revealed that ANTHONY MURRAY, a member of the Black P-Stone Nation street gang (the “P-Stones”), distributed narcotics in an area the P-Stones refer to as the “Hundreds,” which is near 112th Street and Princeton Avenue in Chicago’s Roseland neighborhood. Murray, 43, of Chicago, also known as “Ant” or “Big Ant,” allegedly arranged narcotic transactions with a confidential source working with agents from the Chicago Strike Force in 2013 and 2014. The deals were surreptitiously recorded by officers who used wiretapped cellular phones and extensive surveillance as part of the investigation.
According to the federal affidavits, Murray was supplied with narcotics by three co-defendants: BRIAN GORDON, 42, of Chicago, also known as “G”; LAMONT TURNER, 41, of Chicago, also known as “Pookie”; and RUDOLPH CALLASO, 35, of Chicago. The affidavit alleges that FLOMONT JOHNSON, 40, of Hammond, Ind., contributed to the operation by converting powder cocaine into crack cocaine.
The federal affidavits allege that Murray and Gordon sold narcotics to a high-ranking member of the P-Stones, who, unbeknownst to Murray and Gordon, was assisting the government as a confidential source.
Murray, Gordon, Turner, Callaso and Johnson were charged with conspiring with each other to knowingly and intentionally possess with intent to distribute cocaine and heroin. If convicted, Murray, Gordon, and Johnson each face a mandatory minimum sentence of 5 years in prison and a maximum of 40 years in prison and a $5 million fine. If convicted, Turner and Callaso each face a maximum of 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine.
The affidavits allege that Murray also sold narcotics to another co-defendant, GERLAND ORR, 45, of Chicago. Orr was charged with knowingly and intentionally possessing cocaine with the intent to distribute. If convicted, Orr faces a maximum of 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine.
The charges were announced by Zachary T. Fardon, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; Anita Alvarez, Cook County State’s Attorney; Dennis A. Wichern, Special Agent in Charge of the Chicago Field Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration; Garry F. McCarthy, Superintendent of the Chicago Police Department; and Stephen Boyd, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division.
“The Chicago Strike Force is a potent alliance of federal, state and local law enforcement that is committed to halting the stream of narcotics into our communities,” Mr. Fardon said. “The charges announced today are the result of the hard work and determination of our investigative partners,” Mr. Fardon said.
“As prosecutors, we recognize the efforts of specialized law enforcement partners like the Chicago Strike Force and we work hand in hand to eradicate the flow of dangerous drugs in our communities,” Ms. Alvarez said. “We applaud the work of the Strike Force and look forward to continued collaboration,” Ms. Alvarez said.
"The Chicago Police Department remains manically focused on reducing violence in our city,” said Superintendent McCarthy. "With the engine of violence in Chicago primarily fueled by the drug trade, the Chicago Strike Force represents the culmination of local, state and federal resources targeting those who torment our neighborhoods with violence and sending a clear message that violence, drug dealing and gang activity will simply not be tolerated."
“DEA, along with its outstanding Strike Force partners, will continue to focus our efforts against heroin traffickers and gang members that plague our communities with violence, the concern of everyday Chicagoans,” said Special Agent Wichern. “This investigation exemplifies the created synergy of the Chicago Strike Force.”
The investigation was conducted through the U.S. Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) Chicago Strike Force, which ― in addition to the DEA, IRS-CID and CPD ― consists of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the U.S. Marshals Service, and task force officers from various state and local law enforcement agencies, including the Cook County Sheriff’s Police Department and the Illinois State Police.
The federal complaints charge several other defendants with various narcotics-related violations on the South and West Sides of the city. MELVIN SYKES, 34, of Chicago, also known as “Cooch,” and ANDRE GLADNEY, 48, of Chicago, also known as “Red,” were charged with knowingly and intentionally distributing heroin. If convicted, Sykes and Gladney each face a maximum of 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine. LEON LONDON, 32, of Bellwood, Ill., also known as “Bookie,” and JAMES WILSON, 36, of Cicero, were charged with knowingly and intentionally distributing crack cocaine. If convicted, London and Wilson each face a mandatory minimum of 5 years in prison and a maximum of 40 years and a $5 million fine.
A federal complaint also charges VINCENT YOAKUM, 55, of Chicago, also known as “Vinny Blue,” and RANDY GRIFFIN, 44, of Chicago, with conspiring with each other to knowingly and intentionally possess with intent to distribute cocaine. A federal affidavit filed in support of the complaint alleges that a high-ranking member of the P-Stones assisted the government as a confidential source and purchased cocaine from Yoakum and Griffin for $10,000 in cash. The transaction was observed and recorded by federal agents, according to the affidavit. If convicted, Yoakum and Griffin each face a maximum of 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine.
Assistant United States Attorneys Shoba Pillay and Jeremy Daniel are representing the government in the federal cases. Assistant State’s Attorney Daniel Maloney is handling the state cases.
The public is reminded that complaints contain only charges and are not evidence of guilt. The defendants are presumed innocent and are entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.