Authorities early Thursday morning rounded up more than 40 leaders and senior members of Chicago’s “Black Souls” street gang in a first-of-its-kind sweep conducted under Illinois’ new RICO statute.
The takedown targeted open-air drug markets around the intersection of West Madison Avenue and South Pulaski Road, in Chicago’s West Garfield Park neighborhood. Authorities said the operation may have netted as much as $11 million a year.
Of the 41 arrested so far, 23 will be charged under the Street Gang Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations — also known as RICO — statute.
“This new tool allows us to, instead of just charging the individual with maybe one shooting, we’re able to target these gang leaders and the entire gang itself,” said Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez.
Among those arrested were the gang’s top leader, Cornel Dawson, and other top tier members, including second-in-command Teron Odum, of what authorities are calling a “notoriously violent” group.
Read more at NBC Chicago.
(Photo: NBC Chicago screengrab)