International Drug Trafficker Sentenced to 30 Years in Federal Prison for Transporting Thousands of Kilograms of Cocaine to United States
CHICAGO — A joint federal and local drug trafficking investigation has resulted in federal charges against ten alleged members or associates of a Chicago street gang for conspiring to distribute heroin and cocaine.
During the multi-year probe, law enforcement shut down three open-air drug markets in the West Garfield Park neighborhood on the West Side of Chicago. The investigation, led by Homeland Security Investigations and the Chicago Police Department, utilized extensive undercover and covert surveillance operations and resulted in the seizures of multiple kilograms of suspected heroin, some of which was laced with fentanyl, and cocaine, as well as four rifles, four handguns, a MAC-10 submachine gun, a shotgun, and more than 450 rounds of ammunition. A criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Chicago alleges that the ten federal defendants are members or associates of the Four Corner Hustlers street gang.
The ten federal defendants are in law enforcement custody and have made initial appearances in U.S. District Court in Chicago. In addition to the federal defendants, more than 20 other individuals were charged with state drug offenses in the Circuit Court of Cook County.
The federal charges were announced by John R. Lausch, Jr., United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; Angie Salazar, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago office of HSI; and David Brown, Superintendent of CPD. Valuable assistance was provided by the IRS Criminal Investigation Division in Chicago. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Shawn McCarthy, David Green, and Kristin Pinkston represent the government.
This case is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) operation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach.
“Fentanyl, heroin, and cocaine are extremely potent drugs that have wreaked havoc in too many of our communities,” said U.S. Attorney Lausch. “We will continue to focus our efforts on individuals and groups who traffic dangerous drugs and prosecute those offenders in federal court.”
“Our goal is for law abiding residents to enjoy safety and peace in their communities, and holding these criminals accountable for their actions is a major step toward achieving that goal,” said HSI SAC Salazar. “We will continue to put pressure on these dangerous gangs by investigating and prosecuting their members, just as we are doing in this case.”
Charged with federal drug conspiracy are NATHANIEL EVANS, 38, of Aurora, Ill., JARELLE JONES, 24, of Forest Park, Ill., MARQUIS JONES, 29, of Chicago, DEVONTAY LOGAN, 27, of Chicago, JOSEPH WILLIAMS, 31, of Chicago, DORNELL WILLIAMS, 34, of Chicago, TEREMIUS WEBB, 25, of Chicago, ANTONIO FLETCHER, 40, of Chicago, KYLE LINTON, 25, of Chicago, and MAURICE BELL, 40, of Chicago.
From February 2021 to April 2022, law enforcement officers made numerous undercover purchases of narcotics from various members of the organization. The drugs at the open-air markets were typically packaged in small baggies and sold for $10 each – with discounts for higher quantity sales, the complaint states.
According to the federal charges, Evans directed the drug trafficking operation and supervised the three open-air markets, which were located in the 3900 block of West Jackson Boulevard, 3900 block of West Van Buren Street, and 4000 block of West Maypole Avenue. Jarelle Jones, Marquis Jones, Joseph Williams, and Dornell Williams allegedly worked as “shift managers,” overseeing drug sales at the illegal markets at various times of the day. The charges allege that Logan picked up narcotics from suppliers, delivered them to the Jackson Boulevard location, and collected illicit proceeds after the sales. Webb, Fletcher, and Linton allegedly worked as street-level dealers, while the charges accuse Bell of obtaining narcotics for sales at the Maypole Avenue location.
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. The drug conspiracy charge is punishable by up to life in federal prison. If convicted, the Court must impose reasonable sentences under federal sentencing statutes and the advisory U.S. Sentencing Guidelines.