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Added Feb 04 2013

I am pleased to report that Chicago Police late last week arrested 12 suspected gang members and shut down a drug market on the 1500 block of W. Morse Avenue. Arrest warrants were issued for another eight individuals.

In addition to the arrests, police confiscated quantities of heroin, cannabis, and crack cocaine with an estimated street value of nearly $8,000. Police also seized two vehicles and cash involved in the illegal operation.

According to the police, the targeted drug market was controlled primarily by the Gangster Disciples street gang.

The arrests were the result of an undercover investigation initiated in response to several occurrences of violent crime in the area. Information from community residents assisted in the investigation.

The elimination of this drug market undoubtedly will contribute greatly to the continued reduction in crime and the ongoing revitalization of Morse Avenue.

Undercover operations often take months to execute because they focus on the gang leaders, not simply the street dealers. The intelligence from community residents proved critical to this investigation. Never assume that your complaints to the police, calls to 911 and attendance at the monthly CAPS beat meetings aren't worthwhile.

The beat meeting is one of the most important intelligence gathering venues. It's where the police officers and community residents meet to share information, discuss ongoing concerns and develop strategies to combat those concerns. My office is always represented at these meetings and Commander Roussell often attends, as well.

For a schedule of upcoming beat meetings in the 24th District, visit:

For a map of the beats in the 24th District and help in finding your beat, visit:

  • Virginia resident

    Now, what plans are in place to make sure this doesn't recur, and doesn't move to some other RP location?

  • RP Advocate Servo solvo sermo.

    Virginia the plan already is in place. Part of it includes residents like you, me and others to engage and take action through block clubs or CAPS. Get to know your local patrol officers, be vigilant, provide information on suspicious activity to the police or over 911. Get to know and talk to your neighbors; share information; stay on top of what is happening in your local area. Become part of the crime prevention network. That is part of how this recent drug market was shut down. The plan already is in place. Become engaged. You are part of the solution.

  • Dan Miller RP/WR resident since 1978

    The cops did a great job. But the drug market eventually will pop up in another venue, with accompanying violence. To end the drug trafficking, get the money out of the system. Legalize and regulate drugs.

  • RP Advocate Servo solvo sermo.

    Drugs help support the "system" but are not the complete foundation. If drugs become no longer profitable, prostitution, gun dealing, extortion, reselling stolen goods, gambling and other profitable "businesses" will quickly fill the gap. It's the gang "businesses" that are the real problem and keep money in the system. Drugs is only one part of it. The real problem is "Gang Business".

  • Bruce_ Comment by TBD, whom you've muted

    great job and thanks team blue, lets hope the judical branch hold up their end of the process.

  • Dave60626

    Not to belittle what the police have done, but I guarantee that the 12 dealers have already been replaced, the drug spot has been moved and it is in full operation again. As long as there is a demand, there are plenty of organized gangs willing to fill it and there are ton's of lookouts that are itching for a promotion to dealer. To them these sort of arrests are simply a part of doing business (and a chance for advancement).

    Rogers park is convenient to transportation and the northern burbs, even if legitimate enterprises don't recognize it, criminal enterprises know it is a prime location for business. The solution is either to force the dealers into an area where they have little impact on the surrounding community, or make it so hot that suburban customers are afraid to cross over into Chicago (which will inevitably violate people's rights, both guilty and innocent).

    It is a tough situation for which there are no clearly acceptable solutions. The dealing itself is not so much the problem as is the crime that comes with it, when we have a bunch of outside addicts coming to our neighborhood to score, and maybe pick up a little extra cash on the way. Addicts are going to find the money to support their habits, where ever it has to come from. The competition for sales turf also results in violence that sometimes claims innocent victims. It is a vicious cycle that has been going on for many decades, with no end in sight.

  • RP, from everything I've read and heard, drugs do far more than "help support" the gangs. They are the foundation of their cashflow. No other "business" is as profitable, and maybe more importantly, is so easy to conceal. There will always be crime, but I don't get why you want to dismiss the value of taking the main "business" out of the picture.

  • Bruce_ Comment by TBD, whom you've muted

    Hi Dave, we are leaps and bounds ahead of where we were in the 80's, 90's and 00's.
    Not perfect but far from the situatiojn you described. Great work team blue now please do not let the robes screw up our progress. Go robes go...

  • i will find this good news when there is also a health department van there to offer drug treatment to the buyers who are in a physical/mental/emotional place where they might be reachable. i would like to see an and to the completely useless and corrosive war on drugs. but we don't need that to happen in order to start treating this as a public health crisis. somehow there is always a bed in the jail, but not in treatment.

  • John Versical all around nice guy

    Kudos to the CPD, the community, and all of the individuals and organizations involved with this round-up. Is it the end of the road? No. It's the first step on a long path that will continue to make our streets safer, and Morse Avenue a positive beacon. You definitely can't get to the end of that road without taking the first step - so congratulations to everyone involved with this BIG first step: Job well done!

  • John Warner 14 year resident - Rogers Park Positive Loitering

    It was a great job that was done by CPD and the TAC units, and the community members that stepped up with information. Just keep in mind that this is just a first step in the road to keep this area clear. This problem did not happen overnight nor will the solution be overnight. It is up to each and everyone of us to step up to the plate and inform CPD, or other authorities of what we see and what we hear. Don't just push it off thinkging that someone else will take care of it. It is ALL of our responsiblities to do this. Join your block clubs, the CAPS meetings, and any other organization that can combat this problem. It's up to ALL of us!

  • Dee On Newgard '92

    Double bump! (To the Johns)

  • Dee On Newgard '92

    And the men and women in blue.

  • Good news. I hope more regular busts to come.

  • Shana Brooke "the only morality is not to be dishonest"

    how am I gonna get my crack?

  • EllenJane Housing Advocate/Freelance Graphic Designer

    Great news! Here's hoping they are keeping an eye out at the Howard Station. It is possible to also arrest individuals making purchases as well? It would be great to discourage the those who purchase.

  • Dave60626

    Just a note, most of the people you assume are selling drugs around the train station, are just selling loose cigarettes. While that is also illegal, it does not attract a bunch of crack heads to the area.

  • Helen NoH North of Howard for 55 + years

    I think the term is "loose squares" for those single cigarette sales. I've been noticing that a lot around the Howard station. I reported it at the last CAPS meeting. I know someone who got arrested for selling one. She's not one of the regulars doing it. In fact, she had no idea it was illegal. Someone simply asked her whether she could buy one of her cigarettes, the sale was noticed, and she was on her way to jail.

  • Dee On Newgard '92

    Darn, Helen. You've got some street cred.

  • Waste of time...and money.

  • Helen NoH North of Howard for 55 + years

    What is, Charlie--arresting someone for selling single cigarettes or the drug bust? I would agree if you mean the former except that it adds to the general bad impression lots of folks get of Howard St. And sometimes it can be a bit difficult just getting into the station with all the hanging out there.

  • Dan Miller RP/WR resident since 1978

    Drug busts and selling loose squares both are a waste of time. Excessive taxes on cigarettes have priced a pack beyond reach of some smokers. In response, entrepreneurial capitalists buy a carton, break out the single smokes, and sell them at a profit relative to a whole pack. If that bothers anyone, then agitate to reduce the price of a pack of cigarettes.

    We already settled how to eliminate the illegal drug trade: legalize and regulate drugs.

  • DaveP been around

    What do you mean?

    I thought the trillion plus dollars we have spent on the war on drugs has worked so well...

    While I can appreciate the police having to look like they are doing something, I'm sure 10 mins after this bust the market was running again 2 blocks over.

  • Thank you Alderman Moore for being tough on crime.

    I also thank the RPPD, but I know that it's you who is leading from behind.

    I live in the 50th ward. I will recomend to my ward rep because it's a great resource to know what's going on, but a great way to communicate with local citizens.

    Better than Twitter and Facebook in my opinion.

  • EDIT**I meant to say that my alderman should use Everyblock. Typing from a smart phone sucks. Sorry.

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