Federal agents on Tuesday arrested 13 men on federal narcotics charges, including five alleged members of a major Mexican drug cartel responsible for transporting millions of dollars and large quantities of cocaine between Chicago and Mexico.
The charges result from an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Agency and the Federal Bureau of Investigation that included the accumulated seizures of more than $12.4 million in cash, approximately 250 kilogramsof cocaine and the involvement of a Chicago-based cell of the Zetas Mexican drug cartel.
Twelve men were arrested in Tuesday's city-wide raid while agents seized an additional $480,000 in cash and two kilograms of heroin, according to a statement released by federal officials. An alleged 13th member of the operation was arrested in Laredo, Tex.
Tuesday's arrests bring the total number of Chicago-area defendants in the drug trafficking case to 20. Charges range from conspiracy to possess and distribute quantities of cocaine to using a telephone to facilitate narcotics trafficking.
One indictment alleges that Eduardo Trevino, a fugitive believed to reside in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico directed a money transportation network for the Zetas that moved money from Chicago to Laredo to Mexico.
Officials also allege that the Zetas identified and maintained safe houses where drug proceeds were secretly collected, packaged and concealed at 1241 South Wenonah Ave. in Berwyn and 3800 West 24th Street on the city's West Side.