$11M Worth of Pot Seized on Southwest Side: Cops

Ten people arrested Wednesday during an a bust called "Operation May Day"

Thursday, May 3, 2012  |  Updated 6:10 AM CDT
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Up in Smoke: Illinois' Biggest Drug Busts

Clockwise from top left: Brian Martinez, Carl Williams, David Soria, Gregory Hughes, Marteez Chew, Rogelio Rivera, Leonardo Aviles, Joel Magana, Ira Franklin

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Ten people were arrested Wednesday during a drug sting on the West Side and nearly $11 million of cannabis was seized on the Southwest Side, police announced Tuesday.

Operation “May Day” targeted heroin sales on the West Side that was responsible for recent overdoses in surrounding suburbs, according to police.

Suburban customers entering the city solely to purchase heroin were the initial targets, police said. Task force members then began conducting undercover drug sales from dealers.

Seven people were charged with possession of heroin and three others were charged with delivery of heroin, police said. Several suspects were self-admitted gang members, registered sex offenders and convicted felons.

David Soria, 28; Ira Franklin, 52; Gregory T. Hughes, 51; Carl D. Williams, 69; Jose A. Velez, 54 were charged with possession of cannabis.

Rogelio Rivera, 47, was charged with manufacturing/delivery of heroin and possession of a controlled substance.

Leonardo Aviles, 42; Fred Randolph, 51; Marteez D. Chew, 18; Brian Anthony Martinez, 36; were charged with manufacturing/delivery of heroin

Three vehicles were also seized, police said.

In a separate police investigation, nearly $11 million worth of cannabis was seized on the Southwest Side.

The driver of a delivery truck in the 4700 block of South Kildare was stopped by police after committing a minor traffic violation. Police discovered and seized 146 bundles of cannabis with an estimated street value of nearly $11 million.

Joel Magna, 23, of Mexico, was charged with felony possession of more than 5000 grams of cannabis, and vehicle code violations for disobeying a turn signal indicator, driver’s license never issued and operating a motor vehicle without insurance.

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