Art Bilek Retires From Crime Commission, After 60 Years In Law Enforcement

CHICAGO (CBS) — A Chicago man who spent six decades in law enforcement retired from the Chicago Crime Commission on Wednesday, but he’s not slowing down.

Asked to think back through his 60-year career in law enforcement and say what stood out, Art Bilek barely hesitated.

“The biggest thing that I did was naming ‘El Chapo’ Guzman, that dirty stinking rat, as Public Enemy Number One, which had not been done since the Chicago Crime Commission named Al Capone Public Enemy Number one, back in the 1920s,” he said.

Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, the Mexican drug cartel boss, is allegedly the world’s biggest drug kingpin.

A year after the Crime Commission named him Public Enemy Number One, Guzman was arrested in February in a raid of his beachside hideout in Mexico.

“I think it gave them a little extra adrenaline, a little extra kick in the rear end, and lo and behold they found him, and he’s sitting in a jail cell now, right where he belongs for the rest of his friggin’ life,” Bilek said.

Until his arrest, the federal government considered him to be the most powerful and ruthless drug trafficker in the world. Law enforcement officials have estimated his Sinaloa drug cartel is responsible for 80 percent of the drugs that end up in Chicago.

Bilek, 85, said it was pretty special having the mayor proclaim Wednesday to be Arthur J. Bilek day in Chicago.

“It almost knocked me over; and no outfit mobster, no drug dealer, no slimy hold-up man has ever knocked me over,” he said. “I cried, and I don’t think I’ve cried — other than at the death of my wife — in the last forty years.”

Bilek has authored several books, and said he has at least three more books to write, starting with the newspaper circulation wars in Chicago 100 years ago.

More from Mike Krauser

More From CBS Chicago

News Via Email
Podcast Network

Listen Live