Deadly suburban Park Forest raid part of larger FBI operation

PARK FOREST, Ill. (WLS) -- An investigation aimed at interrupting drug and gun trafficking by one of Chicago's most powerful street gangs sparked law enforcement to descend Tuesday on a south suburban Park Forest home, resulting in two officers shot and the suspect dead, the I-Team has learned.

FBI, federal prosecutors, Chicago police and the Cook County State's Attorney spent two years infiltrating a violent drug operation they say was run by the Black P-Stone Nation street gang. As part of the operation, multiple suspects were taken into custody Tuesday who are members of that gang.

The FBI called it "Operation Cornerstone," an investigation of cocaine and heroin networks operated by the gang, one of Chicago's oldest and most ruthless street gangs. Most of those arrested were middle-aged men, including one man who had a baby riding his vehicle when he was arrested. He also had two pistols in the diaper bag.

Operatives sold cocaine and heroin out of a South Side clothing store, which may seem like overkill for moving large quantities of cocaine and heroin in a city where drugs are sold openly on some street corners.

It was a lucrative business backed by gang firepower, which was exposed Tuesday after authorities moved in on key suspects.

Authorities tapped gang member's cellphones, did surveillance and plugged in undercover informants to make controlled buys.

The FBI said they have undercover recordings of drug deals that occurred in homes, restaurants and the clothing store. Those arrested were nabbed selling heroin to buyers working undercover for the FBI, officials said.

The investigation exposed multiple drug and gun deals, federal officials said, and led to the small suburban Park Forest street where the 50-year old suspect Melvin Toran was known to be staying. Toran was a high-ranking member of the street gang, investigators said, faced federal heroin distribution charges.

Toran was killed in the raid. Two FBI officers were shot and wounded.


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