The value of the Drug Enforcement Administration becomes quite clear when examining the prevalence of drug problems in Chicago’s Southwest Side and southwest suburbs.
Called “Chicago’s thriving drug trade,” this area of Chicago has been found to be a haven for significant drug warehouses. In fact, in the last 5 years, law enforcement officials have discovered narcotics in no less than 97 homes, 30 of which were on the Southwest Side of the city and another 20 were in the southwest suburbs. This area of Chicago had more drug busts than any other area.
A Prime Location for Drug Warehouses
For example, in September Chicago police uncovered just one home that had more than $10 million in heroin and cocaine in it. The Southwest area of Chicago, because it serves as a major tuck thoroughfare due to its location near highways and a major railroad transfer station, has also attracted drug cartels.
Chief of Organized Crime for the Chicago Police Department, Nick Roti, said that many drug cartels have focused on the Southwest Side of Chicago because many of the trucking workers have connections to Mexico and can therefore better blend in with the Latino neighborhoods.
Quiet Operations Fly under the Radar of Neighbors
Roti said the homes here are rented for no other reason than storage, and that the drugs aren’t manufactured or sold in the houses, thereby allowing the drug traffickers to fly under the radar in these Chicago neighborhoods. In fact, one of the only hints to illegal activity, reports neighbors, is the sheer number of men coming and going, mainly in and out of garages as to avoid detection when unloading drugs.
Jack Riley, Chicago’s DEA special agent in charge, said that many of the men who have been arrested in Chicago’s Southside West area were recruited by large Mexican cartels, such as the Sinaloa Mexican cartel.