20 charged in Humboldt Park drug bust

February 23, 2011 1:16:45 PM PST
Seventeen members of Maniac Latin Disciples street gang were arrested in connection with a drug bust on Chicago's Northwest Side in Humboldt Park.

Twenty people are charged in the case; two of them remain at large and are the subject of a nationwide manhunt.

A two-year long investigation called "Operation Bruised Forks" into illicit drug and firearms sales led to the arrests, according to the FBI. They were announced Wednesday by Chicago FBI Special Agent-in-Charge Robert Grant and Chicago Police Superintendent Jody Weis.

Ten people were charged in eight separate criminal complaints having to do with distribution of a controlled substance or violating federal firearms laws. Ten others were charged with violating state drug or firearms laws in charges filed in Cook County Circuit Court.

Four people are charged with distribution of in excess of 50 grams of crack cocaine: RICHARD FISCHER, age 32, of 5333 West Carmen Avenue, Chicago; DAVID GONZALEZ, age 22, of 4824 West Drummond Place, Chicago; STANFIELD STEELE, age 34, of 439 Durbin Street, Gary, Indiana; and SHAROND WILLIAMS, age 30, of 2457 North Albany Avenue, Chicago. All were taken into custody without incident. A fifth defendant, STEVEN RENTERIA, age 26, of Chicago, was in custody on unrelated charges and a sixth defendant, DWIGHT JOHNS, age 33, of 11 West Division Street, Chicago, is considered at-large.

Two others arrested were charged in separate federal complaints with distribution of in excess of five grams of crack cocaine. They are identified as MARCUS MARINELLI, age 28, of 2622 North Sayre, Chicago and ALEXANDER SANTIAGO, age 33, of 2942 North Nagle Avenue, Chicago. Both men were arrested at separate locations, without incident.

Also arrested today was JESUS LAGUNAS, age 24, of 1806 North Washtenaw Avenue, Chicago, who was charged in a separate federal complaint with felon-in-possession of a firearm. LUIS CANCEL, age 20, of 311 East Carroll Street in Kissimmee, Florida was also charged in a federal complaint with felon-in-possession of a firearm, but eluded capture and remains at-large.

Those arrested on state charges are identified as TONY BRITO, age 30, of 3915 West Grand, Chicago; MARCO ESTRADA, age 22, of 3906 North Christiana Avenue, Chicago; FRANCISCO GARCIA, age 44, of 1442 North Avers, Chicago; ANGEL JIMENEZ, age 32, 1849 North Washtenaw Avenue, Chicago; IVAN MELENDEZ, age 36, of 1422 North Lawndale, Chicago; NICHOLAS MENDOZA, age 27, of 2144 North Keeler, Chicago; ALPER SENGER, age 31, of 4155 North Lincoln Avenue, Chicago; ELLIOT TORRES, age 22, of 1839 North Washtenaw, Chicago; and ANTHONY ZAFIRO, age 20, of 1736 North Campbell Avenue, Chicago. A tenth state defendant, JOSE MATEO, age 27, of 1838 North Washtenaw, Chicago, was in custody on unrelated charges.