Friday, August 19, 2011


Responding to increasingly impatient complaints from residents and businesspeople in the vicinity of North Avenue & Austin Boulevard, the Chicago Police Narcotics Unit conducted a 3-month investigation culminating on August 4 in a sweep arresting nine offenders, including Darron Thomas, 28, identified as a Chicago Police Area 5 Top Ten Target. Three other offenders were arrested on felony drug charges, four on misdemeanor narcotics charges, and a 16-year-old juvenile was taken into custody on drug charges as part of the criminal conspiracy. Two other targets are being sought, but their names were not made public.
In addition to the arrests, officers seized two MAC-10 submachine guns with extended clips, a grenade, a sawed-off shotgun, two semi-automatic handguns, and a rifle.
Members of Chicago Police Narcotics Squads E-3 and E-1 initiated surveillance of the area in early May after evaluating complaints received from outraged community residents, business owners, and elected officials. Over the course of three months, officers identified the eleven targets responsible for illegal narcotics activity in the neighborhood and obtained quantities of contraband in controlled narcotics purchases.
On August 4, Narcotics Unit officers working in tandem with 25th District Tactical officers apprehended 9 of the 11 identified targets in the investigation. One of the arrestees, Darron Thomas, is identified as an Area 5 Top Ten Target in connection with other crimes. He is suspected of shooting a local resident in his car at North & Mayfield last year. When he was subsequently arrested, however, the State’s Attorney declined to prosecute when an eyewitness in the car with the victim refused to positively identify Thomas, even though the victim identified Thomas as his shooter.
This sweep occurred in the area of two illegal private clubs that 25th District police refused to close down last year until reports by THE AUSTIN VOICE inflamed the community, finally forcing police to act.

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