Over a dozen people are facing drug trafficking charges after a federal investigation, referred to as Operation Broken Roe, uncovered a drug ring in the west side of Chicago.
Amid the seizure of heroin, cocaine, fentanyl, 12 illegal firearms, and $60,000 in cash, authorities also acquired a large amount of MDMA, or methylenedioxymethamphetamine. Known on the street as ecstasy, this widely used recreational drug offers psychoactive effects by heightening the senses.
After targeting the Little Village and West Garfield Park neighborhoods, investigators laid charges against Prince Brunt, 36, Devontay Johnson, 26, Corey Benson, 23, Anton Cole, 23, Anton Little Jr., 20, Larry Jones, 55, and Commander White, 27, all of Chicago. Criminal charges were also laid against Marco Mendoza, 24, of Lyons, and Jonathan Reyna, 25, of Berwyn.
Federal documents claim Reyna and Mendoza headed the drug trafficking operation, circulating fentanyl and heroin throughout Chicago with the help of Benson, White, and Jones.
Benson allegedly manufactured, stored, and sold the drug products at the auto body shop where he worked. The owner of the shop, Brunt, knowingly allowed Benson to run the drug operation out of the business in the 3300 block of West Cermak Road, according to federal documents.
Benson is believed to have also enlisted Cole, Little, and Johnson as distributors of heroin supplies.
Federal investigators allege Johnson publicly released an Instagram post, under the username “deadendboi_vtay,” depicting a large amount of MDMA pills with a phone number. Documents suggest the picture, posted earlier this week, was an advertisement for the narcotics.
The investigators allege Johnson acquired the MDMA pills from Maurice Carroll, 28, and Henry Merrill, 31, both of Chicago. Depending on the amount discovered, everyone involved could serve four to 50 years in prison.
Johnson was allegedly at the center of an undercover operation last summer and fall. Federal agents are believed to have purchased ecstasy pills and heroin from Johnson at a home owned by Natasha Summerville, 30, located in the 4300 block of West Wilcox Street.
The affidavits and criminal complaints against the 14 suspects resulted in several arrests on April 18, 2018.
The investigation was headed by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force, with charges by the United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; the Chicago office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; the Chicago Police Department; and the Chicago Field Division of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.