Federal authorities working with Chicago Police say they have arrested 22 members of a West side street gang accused of selling large quantities of drugs and weapons.
U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald announced that two high-ranking members of the "Gangster 2-6 Nation", Francisco Masias and Jose Maldanado, were among those taken into custody Wednesday in a coordinated sweep.
"This case shows the dangerous combination of gangs, guns and drugs which afflict our community and must be stopped," Fitzgerald said.
The 15 month investigation code named "Operation Shady Business" targeted marijuana and cocaine sales in the city's Little Village neighborhood. Officers and agents seized 17 handguns and an assault rifle during the operation.
"This was a good day for the good guys," said Commander Nick Roti of the Chicago Police.
Fitzgerald said the investigation, which brought tohgether Chicago Police, the DEA, the U.S. Marshal's service, the IRS and the Cook County States Attorney's office, is in keeping with a strategy of going after gangs and gang factions that operate in many different communities across the city.
"It's not just one pyramid with Mr. Big on the top," he said, "its dozens of pyramids with dozens of people at the top, we have to go after them all.
Twenty two of the 24 people named in the federal and state indictments are bin custody. Two remain at large.