Ten people are facing charges after an investigation allegedly uncovered a narcotics pipeline that supplied drugs from Texas to the Chicago area.
During the investigation, dubbed “Operation Grapevine,” authorities raided a stash house in Kenwood that yielded 14 kilograms of cocaine and 15 guns, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois said.
Along with the cocaine and weapons, authorities seized about $215,000 in cash and gold, in addition to diamond jewelry worth at least $30,000, prosecutors said.
Darrin Pulphus, 50, of Tinley Park, was identified as the alleged leader of a drug trafficking organization that obtained and distributed at least 23 kilograms of cocaine to the Chicago area over a three-month period this year, prosecutors said.
His alleged supplier, 40-year-old Curtis Pope, drove the cocaine at least twice a month from his home state of Texas to Chicago in a semitrailer truck, prosecutors said. Another Texas man, 37-year-old Shawn Turner, allegedly often flew to Chicago from Houston to facilitate shipments.
Once in Chicago, Pope delivered the drugs to Pulphus or members of his crew at a truck yard in south suburban Riverdale, prosecutors said.
Four distributors were charged: David Bowden, 51; Deshawn Walls, 34; Darrell Williams, 45 and Lawrence Johnson, 38, prosecutors said. Officials allegedly seized a handgun and more than 900 grams of cocaine from Johnson after he obtained narcotics from Pulphus in April, prosecutors said.
Two wholesale customers in Pulphus’s organization, 60-year-old Rome Perkins and 53-year-old Edward Humphrey allegedly conspired with the cocaine distribution, prosecutors said.
The investigation was led by the Chicago High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area program along with the Organized Crime Drug Trafficking Enforcement Task Force, prosecutors said.
All 10 men made initial court appearances, prosecutors said. Johnson and Walls remain in custody, while the others were released on bond.