A dozen people were charged Thursday by the U.S. attorney’s office with federal drug offenses for allegedly conspiring to sell heroin on Chicago’s West Side.
Diamond Lake, Darnell Hudson, Antwion Williams, Derron Barton, Steven Moore, Romell Ratliff, Deandre Hughes, Lawrence Jones, Clayvon Vivetter, Willie Blake, Eddie Young and Tyjuan Yates conspired to possess a controlled substance with intent to distribute heroin on the city’s West Side, according to a criminal complaint and affidavit filed in federal court in Chicago.
The complaint charges 11 of the defendants with conspiracy to possess a controlled substance with intent to distribute. The conspiracy charge carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison, with a maximum of 40 years in prison.
Yates was charged with possession of a controlled substance with the intent to distribute, according to the complaint. The possession charge is punishable by up to 20 years in prison.
The charge against Yates stems from a June 2018 seizure of approximately 109 grams of packaged heroin found in Yate’s vehicle in the Garfield Park neighborhood, according to the complaint.
Many of the defendants were arrested Tuesday and have made their initial court appearances, according to the U.S. attorney’s office.
According to the complaint, Lake operated a drug trafficking organization that distributed nearly 500 grams of heroin in the Chicago area on a weekly basis. Lake’s Bellwood home was used to store bulk quantities of heroin and to prepare the drug for street-level distribution, the complaint states.
Lake, Williams and Hudson parceled the drug, and then Williams and Hudson allegedly worked with Barton to deliver the drugs to street-level dealers, including Moore, Ratliff, Hughes, Jones, Vivetter, Blake and Young, according to the complaint. Once the drugs were sold, Williams, Hudson and Barton collected cash proceeds and delivered the money to Lake, according to the complaint.
From May to October, Lake’s organization distributed at least 10 kilograms of heroin to customers on Chicago’s West Side, with many of the sales allegedly occurring in the Austin neighborhood, according to the complaint.
The investigation, dubbed “Operation Dirty Ice,” was a partnership between federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. Authorities seized 1.5 kilograms of heroin, a half kilogram of crack cocaine, more than $892,000 in illicit cash proceeds and a stolen handgun during the investigation.