Evanston police arrest Belizean Blood gang members

Kimberly Railey

Following a two-year investigation, Evanston police on Wednesday arrested two dozen members and associates of the Belizean Bloods street gang – several of whom have Evanston connections. At least two more people are being sought, according to an EPD news release issued Thursday.

“This successful joint operation with the Chicago Police Department and our federal partners highlights the Evanston Police Department’scommitment to a safer Evanston,” EPD Chief Richard Eddington said in the news release. “The focus on higher level offenders that bring guns and drugs into our community will have many positive benefits, one of which is the lengthy federal prison sentences that will be imposed upon conviction for these serious offenders.”

At 6 a.m. Wednesday, members of the EPD were deployed in multi-agency arrest teams, according to the news release.

The effort was nationwide, involving simultaneous raids in Evanston, Chicago and Salt Lake City, where the gang’s alleged leader was taken into custody, according to an FBI article published Thursday. The alleged leader, Jerry Johnson, has reportedly resided in Chicago and Evanston.

The effort, termed “Operation Blood Hound,” dates back to 2009 when Evanston police, Chicago police and locally represented federal agencies initiated a joint investigation into the gang’s drug trafficking operations, according to the news release.

In that investigation, law enforcement agencies learned of the gang’s criminal acts, including narcotics, trafficking, armed robbery, kidnapping, home invasions, weapons violations, assault, battery and homicide, according to the FBI article. Operations were conducted under the auspices of the United States Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force and included assistance from the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task Force.

– Kimberly Railey