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Federal and local law enforcement agencies launch joint effort to tackle gang-cartel ‘choke point’ in Chicago

June 22, 2017  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
Federal and local law enforcement agencies launch joint effort to tackle gang-cartel ‘choke point’ in Chicago

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‘Choke Point” is a term used by law enforcement officials to describe the collaboration between Mexican cartels and Chicago gangs.

Those relationships increase violence in the city, and now law enforcement officials are trying to ascertain how they can reduce pressure and prevent shootings and murders.

On average, someone is shot in Chicago every two and a half hours. The number of murders is accelerating at the same rate at the record-setting figures in 2016.

“A lot of shootings and homicides are social media-driven, over some altercation. Much like the violence and the shootings, the drug game- changes, it evolves, moves and adapts,” Dennis Wichern, DEA Special Agent in Charge in Chicago, said.

Police say someone is shot in Chicago, on average, every two and a half hours.

The head of the U.S. DEA in Chicago told local ABC7 that ten years ago a majority of shootings and killings were over drug territory.

How crime evolves in the city has been investigated by the DEA, FBI, and Chicago Police. A joint report was recently published to highlight some of the problems troubling Chicago.

“We have 100,000 gang members in Chicago, most of their profits, their work comes from the distribution of drugs on the street,” Wichern stated.

“Sinaloa in Chicago specifically has been the cartel that we’ve seen, but we’ve seen many other cartels get a hold as well.

The Chicago Murder Rate has spiked in the past two years

You have New Generation, who is a violent cartel, it’s become increasingly more violent because of Chapo’s arrest, and somewhat of a breakdown of Sinaloa,” Don Rospond, DEA Assistant Special Agent in Charge, added.

Rospond said the drug organizations are fighting for territory.

“You’ll have the cartel representatives, they will send a head up here – we call them cell heads, to oversee operations in the city. They forge a relationship with higher-ranking members. We call it the choke point,” he added.

This strong connection between Chicago’s gangsters and drug cartel members feeds violence on the city’s South and West sides.

The most recent report said the “spike in shootings and homicides was sudden and sustained” but “the cause of the increase is unclear.” The investigation shows that gang-related violence tends to increase on anniversary dates celebrated by gangs, and on days of funerals.

A significant challenge for authorities is that groups in Chicago are unorganized and fragmented, and lack strong leadership. There are an approximated 600 different gang groups.

Even though there was 44% decrease in drug arrests by police in Chicago from 2015 to 2016, the DEA indicated that it remains focused on dismantling the control of the various gangs, aiming to get as much heroin and fentanyl off the streets as possible until the next “hot” drug surfaces.

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