Chicago Police Round Up 307 Suspected Drug Dealers in Three Days
(CNSNews.com) – In a three-day citywide operation that began on Friday, Chicago Police arrested 307 individuals suspected of dealing drugs as of Monday, Chicago’s Fox News affiliate reported.
Over the weekend, 9 people were killed and nearly 30 injured in violence across the city, much of it drug-related. Since January, at least 328 people have been killed in Chicago, a 27 percent increase since 2011, according to CPD statistics.
Fox reported that undercover cops posing as customers helped bust 307 alleged drug dealers as well as taking more than 100 guns off the streets.
“Narcotics are the basis for, and the driving force behind, a lot of this violence, Chicago Police Deputy Superintendent Al Wysinger was quoted as saying by the Fox affiliate. "If we can target the narcotics dealers at narcotics locations, hit the gang bangers where it hurts the most -- that would make them (a) stop some of the shootings, and (b) stop some of the homicides."
Police said 130 of the 307 drug suspects arrested over the weekend are convicted felons. Of those arrested, 99 percent were gang members.
CBS News reported last week that Mexican drug cartels are behind the spate of violence:
"Let's take the gloves off on that," DEA Special Agent Jack Riley told CBS: "We know that the majority of the drugs here in Chicago, cartels are responsible for. We know that the majority of the murders are gang-related. So it is very clear to see the connection..."
Riley said Chicago's location and transportation hub makes it an "ideal spot" for the Mexican cartels to do business. CBS reported that at least three major cartels, including Zetas and Sinaloa, are now battling for control of the marijuana, cocaine and heroin trade in Chicao.
Riley said a 25-agency strike force formed in January is now trying to shut down the street gang-cartel connection.