More Than 50 People Charged In Joint Federal And State Narcotics Investigation On Chicago's West Side

Lisa Fielding
June 13, 2018 - 1:50 pm

WBBM Newsradio/Lisa Fielding

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CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- The Department of Justice announced Wednesday that more than 50 people are being charged after a joint federal and state investigation into heroin and fentanyl sales on Chicago's West Side.

Operation Full Circle resulted in the seizure of more than two kilograms of heroin, a kilogram of fentanyl, and 300 pounds of marijuana.  Authorities also seized 17 illegal firearms, including three rifles, and approximately $8,000 in narcotics proceeds, according to the DOJ.

Of the 50 defendants, an alleged Mexico-based drug trafficker and a Wisconsin-based courier were charged. Seven defendants were charged with various drug offenses, and two defendants with firearm offenses, based on criminal complaints and affidavits filed in U.S. District Court in Chicago. Forty-eight other defendants were charged in state complaints.

"The mission which focused on dismantling open air drug markets in the 11th and 15th districts have targeted over 50 individuals involved in heroin and fentanyl sales in the city including an alleged Mexico-based drug trafficker," said Superintendent Eddie Johnson, Chicago Police.

According to the federal complaints, Krysztof Rak, 60, operated a drug trafficking organization in Mexico. He was working with Christopher J. Doss, 47, of Racine, Wisc., to distribute wholesale quantities of fentanyl to customers in the Chicago area. Donald Holmes, Sr., 56, of Chicago, and Ivan Walton, 45, of Lynwood, participated in the organization by regularly distributing Rak’s narcotics in the Chicago area and collecting payment from customers, according to the charges. 

"This is a very significant investigation with a far reach to Mexico. With the heroin and fentanyl that's been coming into Chicagoland, over the next few months, we'll continue to put the pressure on drug trafficking and gang activity in the city," said Brian McKnight, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Field Division of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

"This mission is indicative of the close collaboration we continue to leverage with our federal partners to execute a comprehensive strategy that will promote peace and safety throughout the City of Chicago the entire summer, a strategy so far has helped us reduce gun violence in the city by 20 percent so far," Johnson said.

Many of the defendants were arrested Tuesday. Detention hearings for some of the federal defendants will be held on June 22. They have begun making initial appearances in Cook County Criminal Court.

"Everything we do makes a dent. For the people who live on those blocks, in that community, that makes a difference for them that there's not people that are dealing those drugs there," said John R. Lausch, Jr., United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois. "We have a long way to go, but we're going to be here, we're going to continue with these cases, whether it's here or on the South Side or any other places in the Northern District."