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106 arrested in overnight raids; Johnson asks judges for stiffer sentences

Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson announces the department’s plans for Fourth of July deployment with federal and state partners during a press conference at CPD Headquarters, 3510 S. Michigan Ave., Tuesday, July 3, 2018. | Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times

Chicago Police officials announced Friday that officers had made dozens of arrests overnight that targeted the “sources that are leading the gun violence in the city.”

Noel Sanchez, chief of the bureau of organized crime, said that 106 people were arrested overnight as officers executed 21 narcotics-related search warrants across the city. Of the arrestees, 104 are facing felony charges.

Seventy-six of those arrested had been previously convicted, 24 of whom were on parole, Sanchez said.

Eighty-two people were charged with delivery of a controlled substance; Eight were charged with possession of a controlled substance; Eight were charged with delivery of cannabis and one was charged with manufacturing cannabis, according to Sanchez.

Sanchez said the raids targeted “those individuals who fail to adhere to the rules of society.”

Officers recovered 250 grams of heroin, 64 grams of crack cocaine, 15,000 grams of cannabis and 100 Xanax and ecstasy pills, he said.

Supt. Eddie Johnson said the raids were part of the department’s strategy to tamp down shootings over the traditionally violent Fourth of July holiday weekend, which also includes an influx of more than 1,500 additional officers.

It’s become common practice by the CPD in recent years to conduct raids during or just before the Fourth of July and Memorial Day weekends, aiming to lock up people who the department deems the main drivers of shootings.

It’s unclear if anyone arrested in the Thursday night raids had been taken into custody when the department executed similar plans in the recent past.

For his part, Johnson has repeatedly called for stiffer penalties for repeat gun offenders. Those pleas have come even after Gov. Bruce Rauner signed a bill last year that aimed to do just that.

The Sun-Times found that, since that law went into effect last January, there hasn’t been a single case in Cook County in which a judge has meted out those extended sentences for repeat gun offenders.

Friday, Johnson said his officers will continue to make those arrests, but they need help from judges.

“We at CPD will continue to do our part to hold those who pull the trigger accountable for their actions,” Johnson said. “But that’s only one step. We need judges to help punish gun crime offenders and create repercussions for repeatedly carrying guns.