HOUSTON, Texas — Twenty-two defendants are facing federal charges for allegedly having a role in a massive web of drug rings extended from Mexico all throughout the United States. The interconnected drug rings apparently dealt in the supply and distribution of hard narcotics, specifically cocaine and heroin, in numerous U.S. states and Mexico.
The charges come on the tail of a large bust at a home in Park Ridge, Illinois, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). During the raid, officials seized $3.9 million in cash as well as “dozens of kilograms” of hard narcotics.
The 22 defendants are from a variety of states, exemplifying just how wide-spread the drug rings’ activities were. According to the FBI, beginning on Monday defendants were arrested in Illinois, California, Iowa, and Pennsylvania. Three additional defendants were already in custody.
The FBI stated in a press release, “Approximately $500,000 and a kilogram of cocaine were seized yesterday during the arrest of one defendant in Philadelphia. In Chicago, a loaded .32 caliber revolver, thousands of dollars in cash, and quantities of cocaine and heroin were seized during the arrests. In total, agents seized approximately $5 million, 78 kilos of cocaine, and 20 kilos of heroin, and a large quantity of marijuana during the entire investigation.”
The 22 thought to be involved have all been charged with possession with intent to distribute narcotics.
United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois Zachary Fardon said in a statement, “The Chicago Strike Force is a powerful collaboration of local, state, and federal law enforcement focused on the choke point between narcotics suppliers and street-level distributors. This investigation demonstrates the wisdom of the Strike Force and illustrates how dedicated teamwork can rise above jurisdictional and geographic borders, across state and international lines, to stem the flow of narcotics into our communities.”
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