West Side drug gang made fortune on misfortune of addicts, feds say

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New federal indictments charge a gang of West Side Chicago drug dealers with making millions from street-corner sales. (WLS)

ABC7 I-Team Investigation
New federal indictments charge a gang of West Side Chicago drug dealers with making millions from street-corner sales.

Federal authorities say the drug gang run by Johnny "Goo" Herndon had a vice-grip on the notorious West Side neighborhood known as K-Town, near Kostner and the Eisenhower Expressway.

DOCUMENT: Johnny "Goo" Herndon indictment
June 30: 2012: I-Team Report - The Avenger of 'K-Town'
August 7, 2014: I-Team - Breaking the K-Town drug code

It is a place they say where the "Goo Gang" operated drive-through cocaine and heroin markets, with easy in and-out service for suburban motorists and walk-up sales to the neighborhood customers.

When the I-Team exposed out-in-the-open drug sales like this, it was apparent that a lot of money changed hands.

And when Johnny Goo was arrested in August, federal investigators called him the drug gang's patriarch; at age 55, living well.

Friday night, three months later, we learn just how well.

He was a cash machine, according to a newly filed, 49-count federal indictment.

Goo and his gang cleared a cool $8.6 million, a tally subject to forfeiture according to prosecutors.

Even that is a lowball figure; two dozen real estate properties that Johnny Goo owned were bought with drug proceeds they say, all of them also subject to government seizure.

Federal agents and Chicago Police had busted the operation after a six-month surveillance investigation that relied heavily on cell phone intercepts.

Some of Goo's accused underlings also under indictment tonight are career drug offenders; who were on parole for committing drug crimes.

According to prosecutors they have their own roster of drug world nicknames including: "Whiteboy" "Mook" "Big Shorty" "Crowbar" and "Hurk."

Friday night their nicknames are all numeric, prisoner ID numbers at the federal lockup.

The drug charges against them carry mandatory minimums of ten years in prison and up to life. They are scheduled to be arraigned on the new indictments a week from Friday.



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