Feds Bust Heroin Ring in Chicago

U.S. Attorney's Office
U.S. Attorney's Office

On Wednesday, federal and local law enforcement officials crushed a huge heroin operation in Chicago, arresting or naming 42 defendants in the roundup. The apparent ringleader of the operation, James Triplett, 33, also known as “Trell,” had the entire city block of 3700 W. Grenshaw under the sway of his dealings, supplying heroin wholesale. He even had “shift workers” working 24/7.

DEA agents and Chicago police officers grabbed twelve firearms, $50,000 in cash, and almost 1 lb. of heroin, as well as roughly 1 lb. of cocaine. The federal complaint includes a photograph of apparent customers lined up around the block at Triplett’s house.

The area of the operation is close to the Eisenhower Expressway, nicknamed the “heroin highway” because of its easy access.

Federal agents asserted that Triplett’s suppliers often placed the heroin in bags with logos such as Playboy bunnies, Hershey kisses, basketballs, Batman, black pandas, or “purple ladies.”

Supt. Garry McCarthy told Fox 32 News, “This is one of those locations that we always talk about, a drive up location on the West Side where people come in from the suburbs to buy narcotics and return.” The DEA estimated that the sale of heroin was worth almost $250,000 each month.

Triplett and 15 others face federal charges; Triplett is also charged with drug conspiracy. The other 26 people caught face state charges.