Evanston Belizean gang members charged in drug, fraud stings
Updated: November 3, 2011 5:05PM
A federal investigation into alleged passport fraud and narcotics trafficking by the Belizean Bloods street gang in Evanston and Chicago has resulted in charges against more than 20 people, most of whom were arrested this week.
Five suspects were arrested, and three guns seized, Tuesday afternoon in Lyons, where gang members had gathered to plan the robbery of 50 kilograms of cocaine from a different drug organization, according to a release from the U.S. Attorney’s office. The drug shipment, however, was a ruse conducted as part of an undercover federal sting operation.
Another defendant, Jerry Johnson, who allegedly directed the Belizean Bloods drug-trafficking organization in Chicago, was arrested Wednesday in Salt Lake City, the release said.
Overall, 10 federal complaints were filed and unsealed in U.S. District Court in Chicago after search and arrest warrants were executed Tuesday and Wednesday. The charges follow two coordinated investigations, Operation Blood Hound and Operation Black Orchid, involving agents from multiple federal law enforcement agencies, as well as Chicago and Evanston police officers.
In 2009, the U.S. State Department’s Diplomatic Security Service began investigating alleged passport fraud by Belizean nationals. At the same time, the FBI and local police were investigating alleged narcotics trafficking. During the course of the investigations, bulk amounts of powder and crack cocaine, firearms and assault rifles, and cash were seized, the release said.
Eight Belizean nationals were prosecuted for passport fraud and eight others for illegally re-entering the country within the past year. Another Belizean national was arrested Wednesday in Chicago on passport fraud charges filed in Florida.
The investigation, which continue, relied on undercover purchases of narcotics, surveillance, consensual audio and video recordings, and court-authorized wiretaps of telephone conversations, as well as information provided by multiple cooperating witnesses, including former members and associates of the Belizean Bloods.
According to the charges against Johnson and three others, his sources of supply included quantities of narcotics from Belize, the release said. He allegedly directed the distribution of powder and crack cocaine, and “cooked” powder cocaine to produce crack, which was distributed in wholesale quantities.
A cooperating former gang member told agents Johnson had inherited his father’s drug connections when his father was deported to Belize. The Belizean Bloods narcotics distribution route allegedly included Illinois, Utah, Ohio, Indiana, New York and California.
Johnson, approximately 30 and also known as “Kaiden Bennett” and “Kalvin Howell,” appeared in Federal Court in Salt Lake City and remains in custody pending a detention hearing Friday. Other defendants arrested Wednesday in Chicago were scheduled to appear Thursday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Arlander Keys. Five appeared before Keys on Wednesday and remain in custody pending detention and preliminary hearings Nov. 8.
In a statement issued Thursday, Evanston Police Chief Richard Eddington said: “This successful joint operation with the Chicago Police Department and our federal partners highlights the Evanston Police Department’s commitment to a safer Evanston. The focus on higher-level offenders that bring guns and drugs into our community will have many positive benefits; One of which is the lengthy federal prison sentences that will be imposed upon conviction for these serious offenders.”
Also charged are:
— Myreon Flowers, 39, of Chicago, aka “Diesel;” Anward Trapp, 31, of Chicago, aka “Bernard Gillett,” “Herman Flowers,” and “Smash;” and Rudy Space, 30, of Chicago, charged with conspiracy to possess and distribute cocaine for allegedly planning to rob a purported “stash” garage in Berwyn.
— David Flowers, 34, of Chicago; and Duane Jones, 28, of Chicago, aka “Duane Tillett,” and “Dido,” charged with distributing crack cocaine, together with Myreon Flowers and Eric Burnett, 24, of Chicago.
— Jerry Johnson, together with Sheldon Morales, 30, of Wheeling, an alleged member of the Gangster Disciples who supplied Johnson with powder cocaine; Douglas Wilson, 57,of Evanston; and Tyrita Myers, approximately 24,of Chicago, charged with conspiracy to possess and distribute wholesale quantities of cocaine and crack cocaine.
— Anderson Ward, 29, of Chicago, charged with possession of crack cocaine with intent to distribute.
— William Gentle, 30, of Chicago; and Richard Ellis, 18, of Evanston, charged with conspiracy to possess and distribute crack cocaine.
— Gilbert Gadson, 45, of Chicago, aka “Gilbert Gatson;” and Roy Walker, 52, of Chicago, charged with conspiracy to possess and distribute crack cocaine.
— Glen Flowers, 40, of Skokie, aka “Glen Gillett,” “William Powell,” and “Herbert Williams, Jr.” was charged with passport fraud for attempting in December 2010 to fraudulently renew a U.S. passport in the name of Herbert Williams, Jr. Flowers was also charged with distributing powder cocaine, and Harrington Gibson, 63, of Chicago, aka “Uncle Harry,” was charged with distributing crack cocaine.
— Carlos Perez, 41, of Chicago; Alfredo Castro, age and residence unknown; and Jonathan Vaughan, 26, of Chicago, were charged with distributing cocaine.
— Anwar Trapp, together with Wilton Bennett, 29, of Chicago; Marlon Conorquie, 36, of Chicago, aka “Dread;” and Alix Aurele, 37, of Dolton, were charged with distributing crack cocaine or heroin.
— Sun-Times Media