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19 Gang Members Nabbed For Drugs, Guns After 3-Year Investigation

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(Credit: CBS)

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CHICAGO (STMW) – The FBI and Chicago Police arrested 19 suspected members of the Imperial Gangsters from the Humboldt Park neighborhood Tuesday after a three-year investigation into drug and weapon sales.

Thirteen current or former area residents were charged with distribution of a controlled substance or violating federal firearms laws, and six others were charged with violating state drug or firearms laws in Cook and Whiteside counties, according to the FBI.

Between December 2009 and May 2012, eight of the arrestees allegedly distributed 28 to 62 grams of cocaine or heroin, the release said. Five others, all of whom have prior felony convictions, possessed various handguns and assault rifles.

Investigators recovered more than a kilogram of crack cocaine, 250 grams of power cocaine and about 125 grams of heroin, the release said. Thirty-one firearms, $4,000 cash and three vehicles were also seized.

Investigators used undercover purchases of drugs and weapons, and court-authorized electronic surveillance of telephones to aid in the investigation, the release said.

Victor Arroyo, 30, of the 2300 block of North Ashland; Richard Cruz, 29, of the 2800 block of North Kostner; Jose Hernandez, 40, of the 4300 block of West Palmer; Faisal Khan, 26, of the 2200 block of North Rockwell; Oscar Montanez, 33, of Berwyn; Rogelio Perez, 37, of the 4800 block of West Henderson; Sergio Sanchez, 25, of the 1600 block of North Parkside; and Lawrence Wade, 41, of Winfield were all charged with violating federal drug laws.

Jaime Corral, 32, of Leyden Township; Lazaro Corral, 29, of Melrose Park; Martin Murillo, 29, of the 2400 block of West Arthington; Miguel Pedraza, 30, of the 1900 block of North Central Park; and Ismael Velasquez, 31, of the 2100 block of North Keystone were charged with felons violating federal firearm laws.

Those arrested on federal charges appeared Tuesday before Magistrate Judge Nan Nolan, who ordered them held until their next scheduled court appearance, the release said. They face mandatory sentences of five to 10 years in prison if convicted.

Julio Collaza, 42, of the 5900 block of West Waveland; Craig Hartman, 26, of Sterling; Elvis Lebron, 39, of the 2500 block of North Linder; Ramon Marrero, 31, of the 4200 block of South Paulina; Catalino Soto, 55, of 5700 block of South Trumbull; and Francisco Wolf, 32, of Northlake were arrested on state charges.

All face up to 30 years in prison if convicted, the release said.

© Sun-Times Media Wire Chicago Sun-Times 2012. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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