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Police, DEA arrest 22 on drug charges on the West Side

Updated: June 20, 2013 8:05PM

Surveillance, undercover work and a series of wire taps, including one in which an alleged drug dealer can be heard chambering a round into a semi-automatic weapon, led to 22 drug arrests on the West Side Thursday morning.

Chicago Police, working with the Drug Enforcement Administration in a partnership dubbed the “Chicago Strike Force,” seized $75,000 in cash, nine guns and large quantities of narcotics while making the arrests.

The drugs were intended for sale in Illinois, Wisconsin and Indiana, police said. An alphabet soup of law enforcement agencies from each state contributed to the operation.

The collaboration offers a way to “take out the entire tentacle of operations” ranging from street dealers to those producing the narcotics, Police Supt. Garry McCarthy said at a news conference announcing the heroin and cocaine distribution charges.

Authorities provided few details about the ongoing operation, but said the drug-busting group formed over a year ago and since have seized several million dollars worth of narcotics.

A 262-page complaint affidavit detailed conversations between alleged drug dealers who used the word “girl” as a code word for cocaine.

The investigation centered around three drug distribution operations in and around the Lawndale neighborhood, but drug activities were spread across the city, including a stash house in an apartment located at 3130 North Lake Shore Drive.

“This is another great day for the good guys here in Chicago,” said Jack Riley, special agent-in-charge of the Chicago Field Division of the DEA.

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