The U.S. Department of Justice is claiming a supposed victory over illegal drug trafficking in a particular Illinois region. Authorities say they have taken more than 50 people into police custody on the West Side of Chicago. In addition to charges for drug offenses, various charges of kidnapping and illegal possession of firearms have also been filed.
The arrests come at the tail end of a combined-forces investigation that lasted several months. The undercover operation was known to authorities as "Operation Full Circle," involving various local, state and federal agencies. Officers say they seized approximately 300 pounds of marijuana during the investigation, as well as substantial amounts of heroin and fentanyl.
Drug enforcement officers also claim that they now have at least 17 firearms, including three rifles, in their custody along with approximately $8,000 in cash. Authorities say they believe the 50 suspects were working in a drug trafficking ring with ties to Mexico. A 60-year-old man from that country is accused of conspiring with a 47-year-old in the United States to sell large quantities of drugs on Chicago streets.
At least nine of the 50-plus people accused of drug offenses in Illinois are facing federal charges. While more than one person may face similar charges, it does not guarantee that their outcomes will be the same. Every person charged with a crime may employ whatever defense strategy he or she deems best to try to avoid conviction. Because there may be several options available in a given situation, most defendants seek support from experienced criminal defense attorneys before heading to court.