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Street gang members face federal drug and gun trafficking charges

Eighteen members or associates of the Black Disciples street gang face federal charges following an investigation into drug and gun trafficking in and around the Far South Side Altgeld Gardens area, according to the FBI.

Sixteen of the defendants were arrested on Thursday, one on Friday, and one remains at large, a statement from the FBI said.

Twelve of those arrested were taken into custody without incident in and around Chicago by members of the FBI’s Safe Streets Gang Task Force and officers from the Chicago Police. Two were captured in Wisconsin, one in Iowa, and two in Indiana, the FBI said.

The charges were contained in a series of criminal complaints filed earlier this week and unsealed after Thursday’s arrests. Sixteen defendants were charged with possession or distribution of a controlled substance, including powder cocaine, crack cocaine and heroin; or with federal firearms violations. Two were charged in complaints filed in U.S. District Court in Hammond, Ind., with distribution of a controlled substance or firearms violations.

The investigation was part of an ongoing effort by local, state and federal authorities to identify and dismantle highly-organized drug trafficking organizations operating in and around the area, the release said. It has resulted in the seizure of more than 1.3 kilograms of crack cocaine, .44 kilograms of heroin, and about 39 firearms.

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