(CBS) — Five people are facing Super Class X Felony charges following a nearly year-long racketeering investigation into the alleged misdeeds of a West Side organized crime street crew, reports WBBM’s Mike Krauser.
Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez says the P-K street crew was involved in a wide array criminal activity including home invasion, kidnapping and drug trafficking and its undoing was attempting to steal 44 kilos of cocaine from a stash house set up by law enforcement.
“The P-K street crew would commit five to six major drug rips per year while posing as police officers,” said Alvarez. “In these rips, as they are called, the crew, through information they would gather from Chicago street gang members, would determine the location and contents of the so-called stash houses being used by other drug dealers.”
In one case, she says a suspect sliced off a man’s ear.
“Needless to say, their methods involved extreme violence,” said Alvarez.
She says they burglarized the homes of police officers and stole badges and other police gear. Alvarez says they operated in the area of Grand and Western.
Those facing RICO charges are a father and son, Robert Panozzo Jr., 22, and Robert Panozzo Sr., 54; Maher Abuhabsah, 33, and Paul Koroluk, 55. Koroluk’s wife Maria, 53, is facing lesser drug possession charges.
Joseph Lopez, Paul Koroluck’s attorney calls the investigation, “an FBI set up.”
“What the videotape shows is they engaged in this conduct at the behest of the FBI informant,” Lopez said.