Chicago cracks down on sale of narcotics, 81 arrested in overnight raids

Express News Global

Published: Sunday 26th February, 2017

ILLINOIS, U.S. – The Chicago Police Department arrested 81 people in overnight raids targeting the sale of narcotics and weapons offenses.

Supt. Eddie Johnson said in a statement that the police department conducted a series of overnight raids from Thursday into Friday.

Addressing a press conference, Johnson said that the raids, that had been planned for about three weeks, were focused on the city’s South and West Side neighborhoods.

He added that they were “focused on the underlying source of crime in these areas: the sale of narcotics.”

According to the statement by the department, 61 of the 81 people arrested were previously convicted felons, 49 documented gang members, 19 have previously been arrested on gun charges, 14 are currently on parole, and 65 have been previously identified by police to be at a higher risk to be a victim or offender of gun violence.

Johnson said that 12 firearms and drugs were seized by police during the raids, adding, “We are almost double in gun arrests than we were the same time last year – that’s a ridiculous number.”

Johnson added, “There are repeat gun offenders that one, don’t care they’re on parole, two, don’t care about the fact they’re already previously convicted felons.”

Police have said that another raid in the coming weeks will have federal assistance and that they are still looking for 40 people who were targeted in the raids.

Commenting on the raids, Anthony Riccio, chief of organized crime, said, “One of the guns we took off the street… is actually a machine gun capable of firing 40 to 50 rounds in just a matter of seconds.”

Adding, “Narcotics and narcotic sales is the thing that allows the buying of guns.”

Further, urging lawmakers at every level of government, to help with the increasing gun violence in the city, Johnson said, “CPD can do better, our judicial system can do better, our state legislators can do better. It takes all of us. If you’re OK every day sitting by watching these people die and that’s OK with you, then good luck on that. But if you care at all, you should be helping the city do something about this violence.”

He has asked for stricter punishment for repeat gun offenders that would help stem the violence

On Thursday, Trump tweeted about the country’s third largest city again, threatening to “send in the feds,” if Mayor Rahm Emanuel didn’t do something about the “carnage.”

Earlier on Wednesday, seven people were shot and killed in what has so far been the deadliest day of 2017.