"Hairstylist" Sold Drugs Not Haircuts

Feds: gang kingpin hid money in salon

By Ivanna Hampton
|  Friday, Feb 19, 2010  |  Updated 7:34 AM CDT
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A Chicago gang banger's "makeover" wasn't fooling anyone, including a judge.

John Brown attempted to hide the fact that he was a Gangster Disciple and big crack cocaine supplier by opening a hair salon called Beautiful Imagez in Englewood in 2005, feds said.

But he was more of a pusher than a trimmer and on Thursday, Brown pleaded guilty to drug charges.

Brown's lawyer, Beau  Brindley, tried to get him released after his 2007 arrest, arguing his client needed to do his customers' hair to make money.

"Without this job, Mr. Brown would be completely unable to support himself and entirely dependent upon his family and friends," Brindley said.

It started in 2007 when he fell into the feds' trap. Then-U.S. Sen. Barack Obama and other leaders pushed for a task force to address killings in Englewood the previous year, the Sun-Times reports.

Tom Ahern, a spokesman for the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, said crime lords often create alternate identities to hide drug profits in real estate and businesses.

The kingpin hairstylist may find plenty of prison pals looking for a nice hair-do.

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