The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has successfully dismantled two drug trafficking organizations after a prolonged, multi-state investigation involving fentanyl-laced heroin, cocaine, and other illicit drugs in Chicago and its neighboring states.
According to a press release from the DOJ, the operation led by the FBI Chicago Field Office culminated in the seizure of approximately $300,500 in suspected illegal cash proceeds, significant amounts of fentanyl-laced heroin, cocaine, and marijuana, as well as luxury vehicles, including Bentley and Mercedes-Benz cars, and a custom-built motorcycle.
The investigation began in 2022 and relied on various covert surveillance methods, such as wiretapping, along with numerous controlled narcotics purchases, as reported by the U.S. attorney’s office.
The criminal complaints targeted two separate drug trafficking groups involved in supplying drugs to customers in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Ohio, and Chicago’s South Side.
The initial indictment accuses nine individuals of drug trafficking. These include Ronald Johnson, 57, from Darien; Sulstine Brown Robinson, 69, Charles Lawrence, 48, Darrell Jones, 58, Derek Donley, 29, Kendall Banks, 31, Niger Gray, 25, Jamari McNeal, 29, and April Thomas, 60, all hailing from Chicago.
According to authorities, Johnson is suspected of handing over a duffel bag containing around $300,500 in drug money to a woman. The authorities later confiscated this money in December 2022.
Furthermore, according to the prosecution, federal drug charges have been brought against two more individuals linked to these drug trafficking activities. Troy Bonaparte, a 58-year-old individual from Chicago, is facing charges for possessing cocaine and marijuana with the intention of distributing them.
While Byron Murphy, a 39-year-old also from Chicago, is being accused of distributing fentanyl-laced heroin, as stated in the complaint.
The second complaint levies charges of federal drug conspiracy against Derek Donley (29), Kendall Banks (31), Niger Gray (25), Jamari Mc Neal (29), and April Thomas (60), all residents of Chicago.
In January 2023, law enforcement in Wisconsin intercepted and apprehended Robinson while transporting seven kilograms of cocaine from Chicago. The drugs, consisting of six individually packaged bricks wrapped in green cellophane, were subsequently seized.
A third complaint has been filed against Chantell Toney, a 37-year-old resident of Chicago, on charges of cocaine distribution that occurred on April 6.
According to court records, Toney is alleged to have engaged in multiple instances of selling crack cocaine in Chicago’s South Side during the years 2022 and 2023. Notably, one of these transactions purportedly took place as recently as July in an apartment located in the South Shore neighborhood of Chicago.
Prosecutors have disclosed that the majority of the defendants were apprehended on Friday, July 28, or earlier during the current week, and have commenced their initial court appearances.
Source: Fox News