A task force of police and prosecutors took down several reputed members of a street gang called The Black Souls.
The top leaders the violent street gangs have been charged in a sweeping racketeering case that alleges they controlled their West Side drug empire through pattern of intimidation, kidnappings, shootings and murder dating back to the mid-1990s, according to an affidavit unsealed today in Cook County Criminal Court.
The 78-page affidavit alleges the Black Souls ran an $11 million-a-year drug operation and protected the enterprise with violence that included at least seven murders from 1994 to 2012. In all, 23 members of the gang have been charged with racketeering conspiracy, while 18 more face state drug or weapons charges, authorities said.
The case, dubbed “Operation 40 Cal,” marks the first prosecution under the state’s new anti-racketeering law designed to hold gang leaders accountable for violence their organizations wreak on city streets.
Court appearances for the defendants are expected to begin Friday.
Senator Mark Kirk sent a personal thank-you to the task force for its work.
Kirk has stated he wants tougher measures to fight crime, including arresting more than 15,000 reputed gang members.
-Chicago Tribune contributed to this report