An alphabet soup of law enforcement agencies on Wednesday announced that an investigation into a West Side drug ring has netted guns, drugs, money and thus far 34 of the 57 men charged in the probe.
One of the men was arrested with chains and duct tape in his car — ready to kidnap a man who owed a debt to a Mexican-based drug dealer.
Tekoa Tinch, 30, of Bloomington, Ill., was nabbed last month in the parking lot of a Little Village grocery store before ever utilizing the kidnapping tools authorities found in his Jeep, according to a federal complaint.
Moments before he was placed in custody, Tinch met with an undercover officer –– one of several encounters with the agent.
Tinch used automotive terminology to furtively discuss drugs. He used the luxury car brand “BMW” when speaking about high quality drugs, the complaint states.
All told, authorities seized two kilograms of heroin, a kilogram of fentanyl, 300 pounds of marijuana, $8,000 in drug money and 17 illegal firearms, including three rifles, in the wide ranging probe.
Two other men who face charges for seeking to trade drugs with undercover agents in exchange for guns were less secretive while chatting about the endeavor.
Demtrius Wilson, of the 1200 block of North Wolcott, used an emoji of a gun while texting with Andrew Santilli, of Elmhurst. Santilli also referred to a nine millimeter handgun as “Nina” and a “Clapper,” according to a federal complaint.
Authorities are working to apprehend one of the leaders of the loosely affiliated drug network from Mexico, where Krzysztof Rak, 60, currently resides. He faces multiple federal drug charges.
Nine defendants were charged federally and 48 others received state charges.
The drugs in the case ultimately made their way to users in sales in the Austin neighborhood, authorities said.
At the news conference Wednesday outside a West Side police station, Chicago police Supt. Eddie Johnson was joined by Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx and U.S. Attorney John Lausch, as well as representatives from the IRS, DEA, ATF.
Lausch said egos from so many law enforcement agencies working on the same investigation never got in the way of getting the job done.
“Our task is too great to let egos get in the way. It’s not always perfect, but we do a good job of really working with each other and taking advantage of the different expertise that we each have,” he said.