17 Defendants Charged in Drug Trafficking

17 Defendants Charged in Drug Trafficking Probe Targeting Heroin and Cocaine Sales in Chicago

CHICAGO (STL.News) A joint federal and local drug trafficking investigation has resulted in federal charges against 17 individuals for distributing or attempting to distribute heroin and cocaine in Chicago.

During the multi-year probe, dubbed “Operation Tragic Blow,” law enforcement seized multiple kilograms of heroin and cocaine, including a 14-kilogram cocaine seizure in Chicago’s Belmont Cragin neighborhood and a two-kilogram heroin seizure in a high-rise apartment building in Chicago’s Buena Park neighborhood.  The joint federal and local investigation, led by U.S. Homeland Security Investigations and the Chicago Police Department, utilized extensive undercover and covert surveillance operations to shut down the defendants’ drug trafficking activities.

Many of the 17 federal defendants were arrested Wednesday and have begun making initial appearances in U.S. District Court in Chicago.  In addition to the 17 federal defendants, two other individuals were charged in state court as part of this investigation.

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.  Substantial assistance was provided by the IRS Criminal Investigation Division in Chicago and the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office. 

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