Weather Updates

Police shut down three open-air drug markets, arrest 49

Updated: June 23, 2012 10:54PM

Chicago Police said Saturday they shut down three open air-drug markets during a Friday night bust targeting Gangster Disciples, where they arrested 49 dealers.

Following a six-month investigation, undercover narcotics officers busted up a market on 47th Street between Michigan and Calumet Avenues, which was home to the Gangster Disciples street gang, Police Supt. Garry McCarthy said Saturday, backed by community members and clergy at the Ward Prairie Baptist Church.

Those dealers sold an estimated $1.1 million a year of heroin, crack cocaine and cannabis, he said. Another operation targeted an area between 56th and 58th streets, and between Morgan and Wood streets, where neighbors had been complaining about drug deals at all hours.

And on the West Side, narcotics officers investigated drug sales of at least six different gangs between Keeler and Kildare streets, and Monroe and Adams streets. During a raid Friday morning in the 200 block of South Kildare, police arrested Pierre Blakney, 21, of the 3700 block of West Flournoy, saying he aimed a gun at officers while running away from them. Blakney now is charged with aggravated assault to a police officer, armed violence, unlawful use of a weapon and manufacturing and delivering heroin within 1,000 feet of a church or school.

The investigations aimed “to cut off supply money for gangs to buy guns,” McCarthy said in front of the South Side church.

Saturday evening, the superintendent said he didn’t yet know whether any of the 49 people arrested were gang leaders, or just street dealers.

“Law enforcement will never fix the narcotics program in this country,” McCarthy said. “We are focused on eliminating market by market by market.”

Contributing: Josh McGhee

© 2014 Sun-Times Media, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied or distributed without permission. For more information about reprints and permissions, visit To order a reprint of this article, click here.