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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Illinois

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, July 10, 2020

Five Defendants Indicted in Federal Drug Investigation Centered on North Side of Chicago

CHICAGO — Five individuals have been indicted on drug charges as part of a federal investigation into cocaine trafficking on Chicago’s North Side.

During the multi-year investigation, law enforcement seized more than 365 grams of suspected crack or powder cocaine, and six grams of fentanyl.  Much of the alleged drug trafficking occurred in the West Ridge neighborhood on the North Side of Chicago.

An indictment returned Thursday in U.S. District Court in Chicago charges five defendants with conspiracy and other federal drug offenses: JOSHUA MOORE, also known as “Big Moe” and “Big Guy,” 41; JOHN HEARD, also known as “Bird,” 30; EARNEST GREENE, also known as “Ernie,” 20; JOSE FONTANEZ, also known as “Joey Crack,” 38; and ANTONIO MAXEY, also known as “Tone,” 32; all of Chicago.  Greene currently remains at large, while the other defendants are either in law enforcement custody or have been released on court-supervised bond.

The indictment was announced by John R. Lausch, Jr., United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; Emmerson Buie, Jr., Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago office of the FBI; and David Brown, Superintendent of the Chicago Police Department.  Assistant U.S. Attorneys Shawn McCarthy and Katie M. Durick represent the government.

According to the indictment and a criminal complaint previously filed in the case, Moore operated a drug trafficking organization near the intersection of Devon and Western Avenues in Chicago.  Moore’s operation also utilized a drug stash house in the 7000 block of North Rockwell Street in Chicago, directly across the street from Indian Boundary Park, the charges allege.

As part of his operation, Moore purchased wholesale quantities of cocaine and packaged it for distribution on the street, the charges state.  He also allegedly “cooked” the powder cocaine into crack cocaine for street sale.  Moore either sold narcotics directly to customers or supplied the drugs to his co-defendants to handle the sales, the charges state. 

During the investigation, law enforcement made numerous undercover purchases of crack cocaine or powder cocaine from Moore’s organization, according to the charges.

The public is reminded that an indictment contains only accusations 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.

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Drug Trafficking
Opioids
Violent Crime
Updated July 10, 2020