CPD: 81 arrests made in overnight raids

CHICAGO (WLS) -- As Chicago's single deadliest week so far in 2017 came to an end, CPD infiltrated some of the city's most notorious neighborhoods, arresting 81 people and rounding up guns.

"One of the guns we took off the street last night is actually a machine gun capable of firing 40 to 50 rounds in just a matter of seconds," said Anthony Riccio, chief of organized crime.

They also seized drugs.

"Narcotics and narcotic sales is the thing that allows the buying of guns," Riccio said.

Sixty-two of those arrested were convicted felons, and 14 were on parole for selling drugs, police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said on Twitter. Nineteen had previous gun arrests.

"There are repeat gun offenders that one, don't care they're on parole, two, don't care about the fact they're already previously convicted felons," Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said.

This is the second large-scale sting operation Chicago police have carried out in 2017. This one, police said, relied almost entirely on information collected in the Strategic Decision Support Centers.

"We are almost double in gun arrests than we were the same time last year. That's a ridiculous number," Johnson said.

Still, the superintendent said those numbers aren't significant without strict sentences for violent offenders.

"In Cook County we just don't do a good job holding repeat offenders accountable for their actions. We need legislators to help out with this," he said.

Johnson emphasized the need for stricter punishment for repeat gun offenders, not only to ensure possible offenders know the severity of the consequences, but as a deterrent to prevent potential offenders from picking up a gun in the first place.

Police said they are still looking for 40 people targeted in last night's raid, and said another raid in the coming weeks will have federal assistance.

The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.
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