Charges filed after raid at West Ridge social club, but scope of investigation remains unclear

The charges were filed against two people who were inside the building at 6948 N. Western Ave. when city, state and federal officials executed a search warrant.

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Fencing surrounds a building at at 6948 N. Western Ave. raided by city, state and federal officials earlier this week.

Ashlee Rezin | Chicago Sun-Times

Charges have been filed against two people who were inside a West Ridge social club when it was raided by city, state and federal officials earlier this week, but the scope of the investigation remained unclear.

Sources said a search warrant was served at the building at 6948 N. Western Ave. as part of an investigation into fraud, illegal gambling and drug sales.

A man who told authorities he tended gambling machines in the club has been charged with one misdemeanor count of keeping a gambling place. Allen Isip, 34, said he loaded and unloaded cash in the machines, according to a police report.

A woman in the club at the time of the raid has been charged with felony possession of less than five grams of methamphetamine. Jonina Cunanan, 36, also faces a misdemeanor count of possessing drug paraphernalia.

Ald. Debra Silverstein, whose 50th Ward includes the building, indicated in a social media post Thursday that more serious charges will be filed. “Multiple law enforcement agencies are involved and are attempting to build the strongest case possible,” she said.

Silverstein did not elaborate, except to say that “my office has received calls about suspected drug activity, gambling and prostitution at the address.” Two shootings have also been linked to the club, she said.

After the raid, a city inspection found the building was “severely structurally compromised and an imminent hazard,” according to the Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection. 

An emergency demolition order was issued and most of the building had been torn down by midday Thursday.

Chicago city records indicate a business license for that location was granted on Oct. 10 to JNG 1, Inc. NFP, a nonprofit that was registered with the Illinois secretary of state’s office less than five months earlier. The license is for retail sales of general merchandise and non-perishable items. 

The nonprofit’s registered agent, Grace Fajardo, didn’t respond to requests for comment. Isip told investigators he gave money from the gambling machines to a woman described in the police report only as “Grace.”

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