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Chicago Police Seize $33 Million In Marijuana

August 23, 2011  | 

One of the Chicago PD's K-9 officers who was involved in a $33 million narcotics bust. Photo: Chicago PD.
One of the Chicago PD's K-9 officers who was involved in a $33 million narcotics bust. Photo: Chicago PD.

An investigation led by a Chicago Police narcotics unit has culminated in the seizure of $33 million in bundled marijuana that was headed to South Side Latino street gangs for distribution.

More than 12,000 pounds of pot was seized on the city's west side on Monday afternoon in vehicles and at a storage warehouse, Chicago Police announced.

Seven men involved in the transport of the narcotics were arrested and officers seized seven vehicles and two firearms.

Chicago narcotics officers initiated an investigation after receiving information that a drug trafficking organization linked to several street gangs was storing and distributing large quantities of narcotics in several areas of the city, Lt. Maureen Biggane tells POLICE Magazine.

The officers eventually identified a warehouse in the 1000 block of S. Kolmar Ave. and conducted surveillance.

On Aug. 22, officers stopped a cargo van that was observed leaving the grounds. Officers discovered nearly 2,500 pounds of cannabis inside the vehicle. A search of the warehouse resulted in finding almost 9,800 additional pounds of cannabis. The seizures were coordinated with the gang enforcement unit, gang intelligence unit's tech lab, K-9 officers, and SWAT.

Seven offenders have been charged with possession counts, including Sotero Salazar, 43, of Chicago; Manuel Sanchez, 37; Calderon Sandoval, 25, of Grandview, Wash.; Jesus Munoz, 20, of Woodville, Calif.; Ruben Salazar, 37, of Chicago; Salvador Lopez, 28, of Boorsville; and Daniel Saucedo, 36, of Chicago. Sanchez was also charged with trafficking more than 5,000 grams.

By Paul Clinton

Comments (8)

Displaying 1 - 8 of 8

Leonard Mather @ 8/23/2011 5:33 PM

Do not burn it. Do a cost/benefit analysis on offering it to the California Liberal Rationalizers for sale by Medical Marijuana (convoluted) logic. Do it as a business. Look for profit. Use the funds for sending personnel to TREXPO. It is ALWAYS informative!

Kevin @ 8/23/2011 6:55 PM

Not a bad idea, beats sending guns to Mexico just to see where they will end up.

notmeofficer @ 8/24/2011 1:47 AM

Way to go Chicago PD.... want to see how quickly you can destroy a state.... see what MJ has done to California,,, how it has ruined the quality of life for most of its residents... now we have a whole culture walking around stoned with easy access... a whole new crop of crime... and a whole new bevy of dirtbags

scpdblue @ 8/24/2011 7:54 AM

I wonder how many of the suspects are ILLEGAL ALIENS?

Morning Eagle @ 8/24/2011 9:12 AM

All good comments above. When reading the names of the arrestees I too had to wonder how many are here illegally and would bet at least half are. This was a good one Chicago PD! Hits the scumbag cartels and distributors where it hurts. Now if the prosecutors and courts will hold up their end and ignore the squalls of discrimination and that MJ should be legalized that will almost surely be forthcoming, plus plea deal making defense attorneys, this ought to close the loop on a significant part of this operation.

Rick @ 8/24/2011 9:20 AM

This doesn't hit the cartel where it hurts; sending Coasties and DEA to Bolivia to burn coke plants hits them where it hurts. This was done in the late 80s through mid 90s. There is enough tactical officers in the USCG to do it again (TACLETS & MSST's). With 5 USCG SEALS in the pipeline and going through training or serving with Navy SEAL Teams, the Coastie SEALS would have been the perfect weapon to use in South America; military trained but still considered LEO's. Too bad the new Commandant cancelled the program.

Morning Eagle @ 8/24/2011 10:11 AM

Rick, I totally agree and have been saying the same thing for years but we know that isn't going to happen, particularly under this administration. To kill this hydra-headed drug dealing snake the heads must be cut off but the political will and guts to do that does not exist at the highest levels in spite of the fact we have long had the capability to get it done.

Sgt Allan Raynis @ 8/29/2011 5:58 PM

nice work to the team of Officers who worked this investigation. Great job.
Sgt Raynis

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