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Tag: Chicago

Feds Seize 220 Pounds of Cocaine, Disrupt Mexico-to-Chicago Drug Pipeline

Plane seized in cocaine bust. Photo: DOJ

By Steve Neavling

Federal agents disrupted a suspected Mexico-to-Chicago drug pipeline, seized a private plane and 220 pounds of cocaine, and arrested three people as part of the Nov. 3 operation, the Justice Department said Tuesday

About 176 pounds of the cocaine were discovered in a vehicle in Chicago’s River North neighborhood. Another 44 pounds were found in a hotel room in the city’s Gold Coast neighborhood. 

Feds allege the cocaine had been flown from a private plane in Toluca, Mexico, to the Chicago area. Once the plane arrived at Gary/Chicago International Airport, the cocaine was stuffed in suitcases and driven to downtown Chicago. 

Sebastian Vazquez-Gamez, 30, of Mexico, and Rodrigo Alexis Jimenez-Perez, 25, of Indiana, were arrested in downtown Chicago. Sergio Ivan Blas was arrested in the Indianapolis area.   

CBP Seizes Fake FBI, DEA Badges Sent from China

Counterfeit FBI badge seized by CBP officers. Photo: CBP

By Steve Neavling

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers recently seized several packages from China containing counterfeit DEA and FBI badges in Chicago. 

The packages, which contained eight counterfeit DEA badges and one FBI badge, were sent from China and destined for locations across the U.S. 

“These counterfeit badges could have led to disastrous consequences if our officers had not found them,” LaFonda Sutton-Burke, director of field operations in Chicago, said in a statement. “Criminal organizations could have used these badges for their illicit activity under the guise of federal agents. Our CBP officers were able to identify these very realistic counterfeits and stop them from reaching their destinations.”

The badges pose a threat to the public, said Shane Campbell, area port director in Chicago. 

“It could be a serious security issue,” Campbell said. “Used nefariously, a fake badge can be a danger to the public and can harm the public’s trust in law enforcement.”

In the past few months, CBP also seized thousands of counterfeit COVID-19 vaccination cards that were sent from China.

Chicago Man Charged with Shooting 2 ATF Agents, Police Officer

Eugene “Gen Gen” McLaurin

By Steve Neavling

A 28-year-old man who allegedly confessed to shooting two ATF agents and a Chicago police officer on Wednesday morning said he mistook them for rival gang members, The Chicago Sun-Times reports.

Eugene “Gen Gen” McLaurin has been charged with one count of using a dangerous and deadly weapon to assault a special agent, a crime publishable by up to 20 years in federal prison. 

Chicago police arrested McLaurin on Wednesday morning before he was transferred to federal custody on Thursday. 

The law enforcement officers came under fire while inside an unmarked car that was getting on Interstate 57 about 6 a.m. They were conducting an undercover investigation. 

They were treated at a hospital for non-life-threatening injuries. One of the agents was shot in the side, and the other was shot in the hand. A bullet grazed the side of the Chicago police officer’s head.  

According to federal prosecutors, McLaurin admitted shooting the officers with a Glock 9mm, saying the officers’ unmarked car matched the description of a car that a friend said had been driven by “opps” – or members of a rival street gang.”

McLaurin has a criminal record. In 2013, he was sentenced to one year in prison for illegal gun possession. In 2015, he was sentenced to five years in prison for illegal gun possession and delivery of methamphetamine

Two ATF Agents, Police Officer Shot During Undercover Investigation in Chicago

By Steve Neavling

Two ATF agents and a Chicago police officer who were working undercover were shot Wednesday morning on the city’s southwest side. 

The law enforcement officers came under fire while inside a car that was getting on Interstate 57, The Chicago Sun-Times reports.

The officers were taken to a hospital for non-life-threatening injuries. One of the agents was shot in the side, and the other was shot in the hand. A bullet grazed the side of the Chicago police officer’s head. 

By Wednesday evening, at least two suspects were in custody. 

In a separate shooting Wednesday afternoon, an Indiana police detective serving on an FBI task force was killed during an ambush near a federal building Wednesday afternoon, The Tribune Star reports.

Terre Haute Det. Greg Ferency, a 30-year-veteran of the police department, was shot outside the FBI’s Indianapolis Resident Agency at about 2:15 p.m. 

An FBI agent returned fire, shooting the suspected gunman. 

It wasn’t immediately clear what prompted the shooting. 

Operation Legend Nets 3,500+ Arrests in Nine Cities Since It Launched in July

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

More than 3,500 people have been arrested across nine cities as part of “Operation Legend,” an anti-crime initiative launched by the Justice Department in July, Attorney General William Barr announced Tuesday.

Since the operation began on July 8, federal authorities and their local partners have arrested about 200 murder suspects and seized roughly 1,000 firearms, 19 kilos of heroin, 11 kilos of fentanyl, 94 kilos of methamphetamine, 14 kilos of cocaine, and $6.5 million in drug money, Barr said at a news conference in Milwaukee.

Of those arrested, about 815 have been charged with federal offenses, 440 with firearms offenses, and 300 with drug-related crimes.

The operation involves more than 1,000 agents from the ATF, DEA, and FBI, along with the U.S. Marshals Service, in nine cities: Chicago, Albuquerque, Cleveland, Detroit, Milwaukee, St. Louis, Memphis, Kansas City and Indianapolis. The operation is named in honor of LeGend Taliferro, a 4-year-old boy who was fatally shot while he was sleeping in the morning of June 29 in Kansas City.

To see a breakdown by city, click here.

‘Operation Legend’ Leads to Nearly 1,500 Arrests in 8 U.S. Cities, Barr Announces

Attorney General William Barr, via Justice Department.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Nearly 1,500 people have been arrested across eight cities as part of “Operation Legend,” an anti-crime initiative recently launched by the Justice Department, Attorney General William Barr announced Wednesday.

Since the operation began on July 8, about 217 of those arrests involved federal crimes, most of them drug- and gun-related. ATF agents also seized nearly 400 firearms, Barr said.

“In just a few short weeks, federal investigators working side-by-side with state and local law enforcement have begun to make significant progress towards reducing violence related to illegal firearms, drug trafficking and other crime in our neighborhoods,” U.S. Attorney Justin Herdman said in a news release. “In Cleveland, Operation Legend’s law enforcement operations have already resulted in 32 defendants charged federally with various drug trafficking and firearms violations. These early results show the potential that Operation Legend has to make our cities and communities a safer place for everyone to live.”

The operation involves more than 1,000 agents from the ATF, DEA, and FBI, along with the U.S. Marshals Service, in eight cities: Chicago, Albuquerque, Cleveland, Detroit, Milwaukee, St. Louis, Memphis and Indianapolis. The operation is named in honor of LeGend Taliferro, a 4-year-old boy who was fatally shot while he was sleeping in the morning of June 29 in Kansas City.

Click here for a breakdown of arrests by city.

ICE Offering ‘Citizens Academy’ To Teach Public What the Agency Does

ICE official, via ICE.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

ICE plans to offer a “Citizens Academy” to give the public a better understanding of how the agency operates.

The pilot program is set to begin this fall in Chicago this fall and will be run by ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations, Yahoo News first reported. If it’s successful, ICE will offer the academy nationwide.

In the six-week program, “participants will gain insight into the many facets and responsibilities of ICE/ERO operations” through, among other things, “scenario-based training and exercises conducted in a safe and positive environment, including, but not limited to, defensive tactics, firearms familiarization, and targeted arrests.”

The idea is to build trust in the community by showing the public the ins and outs of ICE’s operations.

“ICE is not training the public to do the work of trained federal law enforcement officers,” Nicole Alberico, a spokeswoman for ICE’s Chicago field office, says. “In fact, we hope by showing members of the community ICE’s process — the why and how an immigration arrest is made — will alleviate fear and misunderstanding of exactly what ICE does.”

Former FBI Agent Charged with Storing Sensitive Documents at His Home

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

A former FBI agent is accused of storing sensitive government documents at his home in Chicago.

Yen Cham Yung, who retired from the bureau in 2016, was arrested in Colorado and charged with stealing sensitive government documents, The Associated Press reports.

Some of the documents included information about gang surveillance and undercover informants, as well as emails between FBI supervisors who were leading investigations into organized crime.

The 57-year-old is accused of keeping memos of understanding between the CIA and FBI, in violation of national security protocols. He is not accused of trying to sell or disseminate the information.

The alleged transgressions came to light after his wife said in an a protection order against him that she had discovered the documents in August at their Colorado Springs home.

An FBI search of the home uncovered dozens of digital storage devises.

Yang’s career with the FBI began in 1996 and includes stints in field officers in Chicago, Hawaii, Washington, D.C., and Indonesia.