Bellwood Man Among 12 Charged In Federal Heroin Trafficking Case

Saturday, October 6, 2018 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews 

A Bellwood man is one of 12 people facing federal charges as part of an investigation into heroin trafficking on Chicago’s West Side by multiple law enforcement agencies on the local, state and federal levels, according to a statement released by the U.S. Attorney’s office.

The investigation, called “Operation Dirty Ice,” included law enforcement authorities operating under the umbrella of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force, which is designed to “identify, disrupt and dismantle the most serious drug trafficking organizations.”

During the investigation, authorities intercepted defendants’ cellphone calls, did “extensive surveillance” and carried out court-authorized searches in residences in Austin, a neighborhood on Chicago’s West Side, and Bellwood.

“During the probe, authorities seized one and a half kilograms of heroin, a half kilogram of crack cocaine, more than $892,000 in illicit cash proceeds, and a stolen handgun,” according to the U.S. Attorney’s statement.

Many of the dozen defendants were arrested on Tuesday and have already made their first appearances in federal court.

Eleven defendants — including Diamond Lake, 42, of Bellwood — were charged with conspiracy to possess a controlled substance with the intent to distribute, and one was charged with possession of a controlled substance with the intent to distribute.

According to the federal complaint, Lake helmed a drug trafficking organization “that distributed nearly 500 grams of heroin in the Chicago area on a weekly basis” and that from “May to October of this year, Lake’s organization distributed at least 10 kilograms of heroin to customers on the West Side of Chicago.”

If convicted, Lake and the 10 others charged with conspiracy could serve between 10 and 40 years in prison. VFP

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