CHICAGO (CBS) — Chicago police arrested 57 people and seized eight guns Tuesday night, in a series of raids targeting drug dealers and gang members.
Organized Crime Bureau Chief Anthony Riccio said the department targeted more than 100 people with a history of gang ties, firearm arrests, and drug convictions.
“The individuals targeted are gang members who deal drugs and carry guns,” he said. “Violence is the common denominator that puts these individuals and their dope business on our radar.”
The raids primarily focused on the Englewood and Lawndale neighborhoods, and rounded up individuals responsible for much of the violence on the South and West Sides, police said.
Riccio said officers seized eight guns, including two assault rifles.
“When we remove the guys that are violent, we remove guns like this, think about your own community. A gang member who’s dealing drugs, who is in possession of an assault rifle that can fire 30 rounds in a matter of seconds. That’s terrorizing to people in a community,” he said. “There’s nothing more terrorizing than weapons such as these assault weapons in the hands of gang members in our communities.”
Of the 57 arrested, 54 will be charged with felonies, according to Riccio.
“These are people that are out in the community with guns, that we’ve locked up before, have felony convictions, and they’re back out there terrorizing the communities again,” he said.
Riccio said he expects a temporary reduction in violence due to the arrests.
“There’s that initial glow that we call it where there’s a reduction in violence,” he said.
The chief said police hope judges will keep these suspects locked up this time.
Riccio said Tuesday night’s raid was the sixth in a series that dates back to late last year. He said multiple additional raids can be expected in the next few months.