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Twenty locals arrested in heroin and cocaine bust

Updated: June 23, 2011 12:07PM

A Chicago-based heroin and cocaine bust led to the arrest Tuesday of twenty Chicagoans as part of an ongoing investigation that’s so far led to the seizure of more than 20 kilograms of drugs and $1 million.

The investigation, led by the Chicago Police Department and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, was first focused on a Chicago-based distribution ring, later expanding when that ring was allegedly tied to a bigger supply network, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office.

“This case is part of a sustained, coordinated effort by local, state and federal law enforcement agencies to disrupt Chicago’s highly-organized drug-trafficking organizations,” U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald said in a statement.

Investigators used 16 wiretaps, five alleged heroin purchases by an undercover cop, surveillance and cash seizures to target the Chicago-based drug ring that kicked off the larger investigation. That drug ring was allegedly run by Domingo Blount and Gabriel Bridges, both from Chicago, according authorities.

In hundreds of pages of documents, the government lays out charges against the 38 people who have been charged in the scheme. Just eight of those charged reside outside Chicago, with one in Laredo, Texas; another in Evergreen Park; one in Cicero; and five in Cincinnati.

CPD Superintendent Garry McCarthy said part of the investigation’s success could be attributed to “the far-reaching impact of law enforcement partnerships.”

In one incident, cops — with the help of Blackie, a drug-sniffing dog — found more than 400 grams of heroin hidden in a secret compartment in the roof of an SUV. The drugs were en route to Cincinnati and were intercepted in Indiana.

Seven of the defendants are still on the run.

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