12 arrested in undercover drug sting near Chicago-Evanston border

Patrick Svitek, City Editor

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Chicago police said they arrested 12 people Thursday as a result of an undercover investigation into drug dealing near the Evanston border.

A “series of shootings and complaints of narcotics sales” near the intersection of Ashland Avenue and Howard Street led to the investigation, according to Chicago police. Two Chicago men were killed in separate shootings in July in the area, which includes Willye B. White Park and the Stephen F. Gale Community Academy.

During the investigation, undercover officers from the Chicago Police Department’s 24th District in the Rogers Park neighborhood and narcotics section purchased drugs from the suspects near the park and school, according to officials.

Chicago police said they arrested nine men, one woman and two boys in connection with the investigation. Chicago police also seized crack cocaine and marijuana worth more than $3,000 on the street.

Chicago police did not release the identities of the suspects, all of whom face drug charges including possession of cannabis, delivery of cannabis and delivery of a controlled substance. Chicago Ald. Joe Moore (49th) said Saturday that 24th District Cmdr. Thomas Waldera told him police are looking for more suspects.

“The elimination of this drug market undoubtedly will contribute greatly to the continued reduction in crime and the ongoing revitalization of Howard Street,” Moore wrote in a letter to his constituents.

Moore added that information from the community “proved critical” to the investigation.

Evanston Ald. Ann Rainey (8th) called the arrests “great news” and shared Moore’s letter on her ward’s message board.

Evanston police have been stepping up their presence around the Howard Street CTA station , citing an ongoing rift between two gang factions. After back-to-back reports of shots fired last month, Evanston Police Cmdr. Jay Parrott said the gang conflict appeared to be “heating up.”

Email: patricksvitek2014@u.northwestern.edu
Twitter: @PatrickSvitek