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Maywood drug raids yield arrests

July 25, 2008 10:43:18 AM PDT
A series of drug raids in the western suburbs has landed suspected gang members in jail. Police in Maywood carried out more than two dozen warrants targeting suspected gang members. Authorities say state of the art surveillance equipment helped them make the arrests.

Maywood Police want to let everyone know that they think their Operation Summer Heat, which targets drug houses in the suburbs, was a complete success. Officials managed to execute arrest warrants targeting gang members and drug houses and wanted to make sure everyone understood how they were running the operation. They did it early in the morning targeting several locations and those running the operation say those intended were caught completely off guard.

One of the homes raided was in Maywood. When it was all over, police arrested the son, brother and husband of homeowner Vanise Pilcher and confiscated drugs. Pilcher says her home is not a drug house.

"I shouldn't have to go through this. And this is the third time they came in our house. This is the only time they ever found something in here. The last couple of times they came in here, they never found anything," said Pilcher.

The operation is the result of a five-month-long investigation entitled Operation Summer Heat which targets gang members, drug dealers and drug houses in the western suburb.

"We utilized undercover officers on this investigation this time, video tape, audio surveillance and we were able to obtain 24 arrest warrants," said Dwayne Wheeler, Maywood Police Department.

Undercover officers gathered surveillance video of alleged illegal and drug activity.

Eighty-four-year-old Joel Holloway's house was hit too and his 25 year-old grandson was arrested. He was not surprised about the arrest, but still remains upset that police raided his home.

"They knocked on the door. I let them in," said Holloway.

Area residents say the operation was a good thing and is the first step to getting their neighborhood back.

"That's their job, I pay them to do that as a taxpayer, yes, and I'm glad to see them working," said Paul Wade, Maywood resident.

The Maywood Police Department also had assistance from the U.S. Marshals' Office and State Police. Officials are beginning to tally up the number of arrests and hope that those who were not arrested will be caught sometime Friday afternoon if not later.

Those who were arrested, if convicted of a felony, could face a prison term up to 15 years. If those taken into custody had previously been convicted, the term could double.

Authorities hope to take drugs and crime out of neighborhoods.


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