ROBBINS, Ill. (STMW) – Five men have been arrested and a sixth is being sought as a fugitive following a federal drug sweep Monday that targeted cocaine sales in and around south suburban Robbins.

The six were charged with operating a drug distribution network which dealt cocaine and crack cocaine in and around Robbins, according to a release from the FBI.

Five of the men were arrested without incident Monday in a predawn sweep conducted by FBI Special Agents, Cook County Sheriff’s investigators and local police. They had been charged in criminal complaints filed in U.S. District Court in Chicago with violating federal drug laws.

A sixth defendant remains at-large and is the subject of a nationwide manhunt.

The charges were the result of an 18-month, multi-jurisdictional investigation, “Operation Changin’ Boots,” which targeted the distribution of powder and crack cocaine in southern Cook County, the release said. The joint federal-state task force was comprised of agents and officers from the FBI, sheriff’s department, and Joliet and Orland Park police.

The investigation incorporated the use of court authorized monitoring of phones and undercover operatives making controlled purchases of illicit drugs.

Those arrested on Monday were:
— Jeremy Jackson, 27, of 13400 S. Monticello in Robbins;
— Marcus Jones, 29, of 13603 S. Monticello in Robbins;
— Tavaris McGregor, 33, of 12425 S. Troop in Calumet Park:
— Jeffrey D. Moses, 33, of 13534 S. Monticello in Robbins; and
— Bruce D. Whittler, 31, of 13534 S. Monticello in Robbins.

The sixth defendant, who remains at-large, was identified as as John Payne, 29, of 13630 S. Hamlin in Robbins.

During the course of the investigation, more than half a kilogram of cocaine was recovered, along with $7,000 in cash and two weapons, the release said.

Those arrested appeared before Magistrate Judge Nan Nolan in Chicago on Monday and were formally charged. All five were ordered held without bond, pending their next court appearance on Tuesday and Wednesday.

If convicted, they face penalties ranging from five years to life in prison.

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