Our Pledge To You


High-ranking Black Disciples leader gets 15 years for drug trafficking

A high-ranking leader of the Black Disciples street gang from northwest Indiana was sentenced to 15 years in prison Wednesday for running a drug-trafficking operation on the city’s Far South Side.

Walter Blackman, 52, pleaded guilty in August 2014 to distribution of illegal narcotics, according to a statement from the U.S. attorney’s office.

Federal officials say the charges in the case represented just a small part of Blackman’s overall operation, which they claim supplied crack, cocaine and heroin to numerous wholesale dealers over multiple years in Chicago and Wisconsin.

According to a government sentencing memorandum, Blackman admitted more than 500 gang members answered to him in his territory, which was in “the hundreds” — part of the Far South Side Roseland neighborhood named for its three-digit streets.

Wednesday’s sentencing held Blackman responsible for distributing 4,000 grams of crack cocaine, 1,000 grams of powder cocaine and 390 grams of heroin, the statement said.

“This sentence holds the defendant accountable for the narcotics enterprise he controlled, and for his role in the accompanying gang and gun violence that harms our communities,” U.S. Attorney Zachary Fardon said in a prepared statement.

Judge Edmond Chang handed down Wednesday’s sentence. Blackman, of Gary, Ind., must serve at least 85 percent of his sentence, the statement said.