CHICAGO (STMW) – Police say drug markets in the South and West Sides were “effectively dismantled” with the culmination Friday of several missions targeting these markets, in areas affected by gang violence. The investigation resulted in the arrests of 49 people and contraband – including a firearm used to commit an aggravated assault against a Chicago police officer – seized.

The drug markets targeted in the multiple investigations were in the Wentworth and Englewood districts on the South Side and the Harrison District on the West Side, a release from police News Affairs said.

Police utilized several investigative tactics, including controlled undercover narcotics purchases and the execution of several search warrants, in order to recover illegal monies and narcotics – including heroin, crack cocaine, and cannabis – associated with each of the targeted drug markets, the release said. Police also seized four firearms, including one that was recovered as Narcotics Division officers investigated street level narcotics sales linked to recent shootings in the Harrison District.

In this area, Narcotics Division officers determined at least six street gangs were tied to the sales of narcotics in the vicinity of Keeler to Kildare and Monroe to Adams. After identifying 30 involved offenders, officers obtained three search warrants and began recovering contraband and effecting arrests.

As Narcotics Division officers attempted to conduct a field interview to determine the identity of a subject on the 200 block of South Kildare Friday morning, police were confronted with an armed offender who fled with a pistol aimed at police in the course of a foot pursuit.

Pierre Blakney, 21, of the 3700 block of West Flournoy, was charged with aggravated assault to police officer, armed violence, unlawful use of weapon by a felon, and manufacture and delivery of heroin (within 1,000 feet of a school and church). A total of 25 offenders were charged with various drug-related offenses as a result of the investigation.

Narcotics Division officers also were able to dismantle a drug market estimated at more than $1.1 million in yearly sales of heroin, crack cocaine, and cannabis in the Wentworth District. The six-month long investigation focused on the area of 47th Street from Michigan to Calumet, where Gangster Disciples gang members were identified. Twelve of 14 targets tied to street level narcotics sales in this operation were placed into custody and charged with narcotics-related offenses. In the Englewood District, Narcotics Division officers disrupted drug sales in the vicinity of 5600-5800 South between Morgan and Wood, where numerous complaints had been received about narcotics activity taking place at all hours of the day. In response, officers conducted controlled drug buys in the areas most disruptive to criminal operations, and executed a search warrant at a residence determined to be connected with narcotics sales. Twelve of 17 offenders were placed into custody for various drug-related offenses.

“Crime that occurs in a community impacts more than one neighborhood – it impacts the city overall,” Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy said. “The violence generated by gang and narcotics activity destroys the quality of life for every Chicagoan and we will continue to strategically remove the criminal operations responsible for this devastation.”

Chicago Police continue to investigate the criminal organizations responsible for these drug operations and to seek outstanding targets identified throughout the course of the investigations.

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