CHICAGO - Overnight raids broke up a large heroin ring that operated around the corner from Chicago Police Headquarters. Authorities linked the drug ring to the killing of city worker, Yvonne Nelson, last year.
The raids were part of a police operation called "Wheel of Fortune."
Police and DEA agents said a turf war over the lucrative drug operation led to the shooting death of the 311 worker last year. Fifteen people allegedly involved in the drug ring were arrested. Six are still wanted.
Officials said the suspects used a phone line out of a Wentworth Gardens apartment. About 193,000 calls came into that line over a six month period for heroin--so many that it had a nickname.
"This particular drug line was using a phone the defendants had dubbed the 'Vanna White Line' hence the operational name 'Wheel Of Fortune,'" U.S. Attorney Zachary Fardon said.
Police discovered the phone line and the drug ring while investigating the murder of Nelson. The 49-year-old 311 operator left a Starbucks half a mile from Wentworth Gardens last May when she was struck by a stray bullet shot by a young dealer defending his turf.
"The motive for that murder were these drug sales that were occurring. Over by these locations in the Wentworth Gardens," Anthony Riccio, chief of Organized Crime Bureau, said.
ABC 7 Chicago was there in June as police arrested the 16-year-old accused of killing Nelson. His face was blurred in the video because he is being tried as a juvenile.
Police said that's part of how these drug dealers try to keep their operation quiet--by using kids to do their dirty work.
Police are looking for the rest of the people involved.