Chicago, IL-(ENEWSPF)- Eighteen alleged members or associates of the Black Disciples street gang are facing federal drug and/or gun charges in connection with a continuing investigation into drug and gun trafficking in and around the Altgeld Gardens area on Chicago’s South Side. The charges and the arrests of 17 of the defendants were announced by Cory B. Nelson, Special Agent in Charge of the Chicago Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI); James C. Lee, Special Agent in Charge of the Chicago Office for the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigative Division (IRS-CID); Gary S. Shapiro, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; and Garry F. McCarthy, Superintendent of the Chicago Police Department (CPD).
Sixteen of the defendants were arrested yesterday, one today, and one defendant remains at large. Twelve of those arrested were taken into custody at various locations in and around Chicago, without incident, by members of the FBI’s Safe Streets Gang Task Force and officers from the Chicago Police Department. Two defendants were located and taken into custody in Wisconsin, one in Iowa, and two additional arrests occurred in Indiana.
The charges leading to the arrests were contained in a series of criminal complaints filed earlier this week and unsealed following yesterday’s arrests. Sixteen defendants were charged in complaints filed in U.S. District Court in Chicago with possession or distribution of a controlled substance, including powder cocaine, crack cocaine, and heroin, or with federal firearms violations. Two additional defendants were charged in complaints filed in U.S. District Court in Hammond, Indiana, with either distribution of a controlled substance or a firearms violation.
Those charged in Chicago with violating federal drug laws are identified as Walter Blackman, aka “Gangster,” 50, of 8601 Lakewood, Gary, Indiana (also charged with a federal firearms violation); Abdullah Brewer, aka “Dullah,” 25, of 6558 South Ashland Avenue, Chicago; Jeffrey Brewer, aka “Mac,” 23, of 12045 South Michigan Avenue, Chicago; Jamaal Crawford, 30, of 3154 E. 80th Street, Chicago; Stephan Gwin, 34, of 530 East 144th Place, Dolton, Illinois; Antoine Harris, aka “Poo,” 25, of 13938 South Wentworth, Riverside, Illinois; Darious Harris, aka “Buddha,” 21, of 11708 South Michigan Avenue, Chicago; Levertis Logan, 26, of 14714 South Beachview, Dolton, Illinois; Wallace Muhammad, 35, of 14205 South Maryland Avenue, Chicago; LeShawn Price, 20, of 3121 Butler Street, Springfield, Illinois; Marlon Shannon, aka “Taboo,” 54, of 1119 E. 101st, Chicago; Charles Tankson, aka “Chuck,” 42, of 14422 South Bensley Avenue, Burnham, Illinois; and Christopher Williams, aka “Big C,” 30, of 4641 West Jackson Street, Chicago. Brian Washington 26, of 418 Johnson Street, Gary, Indiana, was charged in Indiana.
Those facing federal firearms charges in Chicago, in addition to Walter Blackman listed above, include his brother, Ken Blackman, 29, with no known permanent address; Anthony Green, aka “Ant,” 43, of 7113 South Calumet Avenue, Chicago; and James Jones, aka “Solo,” 36, of 736 West 116th Place, Chicago. Christopher Derrick, 54, of 2499 West 86th Avenue, Merrillville, Indiana, was charged in Indiana.
One defendant, Ken Blackman, avoided capture yesterday and is now the subject of a nationwide manhunt.
The long-term investigation leading to the filing of the charges and arrests announced today is part of an ongoing and coordinated effort by local, state, and federal authorities to identify and dismantle the many highly organized drug trafficking organizations operating in and around the Chicago metropolitan area. This investigation employed the extensive use of sophisticated physical surveillance techniques, the controlled purchase of illicit drugs and guns, and the electronic interception of telephone conversations involving one or more of the defendants. The investigation to date has resulted in the seizure of over 1.3 kilograms of crack cocaine and .44 kilograms of heroin and the recovery of approximately 39 firearms.
Mr. Nelson expressed his gratitude to IRS-CID and CPD’s Gang Investigations Division, both of which provided invaluable contributions during the course of the investigation as well as with the arrests. Also, the Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, and Omaha Offices of the FBI assisted with the investigation and arrests.
The two defendants charged in the Northern District of Indiana, Christopher Derrick and Brian Washington, appeared yesterday in U.S. District Court in Hammond, Indiana. Defendant LeShawn Price was arrested in Des Moines, Iowa, and his initial court appearance took place in U.S. District Court in the Southern District of Iowa. All but one of the remaining defendants arrested on charges filed in Chicago appeared yesterday before Magistrate Judge Sheila Finnegan in Chicago. All were ordered held without bond, pending their next court appearances, which are scheduled to take place Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of next week. Until then, they remain in federal custody. Defendant Wallace Muhammad, who was taken into custody this morning in Chicago, will appear later today before Judge Finnegan.
The defendants charged with narcotics offenses face maximum penalties of 20 years for some and 40 years for others, while still others face a maximum sentence of life in prison. Depending on the charged offense, the defendants may also face mandatory minimum sentences of either five or 10 years. In addition, the narcotics charges carry possible maximum fines ranging from $1 million to $10 million. Those defendants charged with firearms violations face maximum penalties of 10 years in prison and $250,000 fines.
The Chicago FBI’s Safe Streets Gangs Joint Task Force is composed of FBI special agents and officers from the Chicago Police Department.
The government is represented by Assistant United States Attorneys Carol Bell, Marc Krickbaum, Andrew DeVooght, and Andrianna Kastanek.
The public is reminded that a complaint is not evidence of guilt and that all defendants in a criminal case are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.