Dozens of members of the Gangster Two-Six Nation street gang were arrested Thursday following allegations of gun and drug deals on Chicago’s South Side.
The arrests follow a years-long investigation dubbed “Operation Bunny Trap,” which resulted in the seizures of roughly 118 firearms, including several assault rifles and shotguns, 25 rounds of ammunition, more than 800 grams of cocaine, more than 250 grams of fentanyl, and more than 280 grams of crystal meth, officials announced Friday.
More than 45 members or associates of the gang are now facing federal or state charges, authorities said.
Federal and local law enforcement agencies said they have been investigating the alleged criminal activities involving the gang since late-2014.
“The gang is national in scope but particularly prevalent on the South Side of Chicago and the surrounding suburbs, as well as Indiana, Wisconsin, Texas, Georgia and Kansas,” according to a release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois.
Eduardo Castro, accused of selling three handguns to a confidential source in the parking lot of a South Loop grocery store, was charged with illegal possession of a firearm by a felon and dealing firearms without a license, according to a criminal complaint.
Anthony Lopez is accused of selling cocaine and a handgun to a confidential source in the bathroom of a pizza parlor in the city’s Brighton Park neighborhood. He was charged with illegal possession of a firearm by a felon.
The charges also describe illegal firearm transactions in several other Chicago neighborhoods, including Chicago Lawn, Clearing, Chatham and Englewood, as well as the suburbs of Berwyn, Homewood and Alsip.
At least 17 others in addition to Lopez and Castro face federal charges, including Julian Alejandro, Vincent Avila, Heriberto Balderas, Joseph Bustos, Joseph Cardenas, Francisco Cardoze, James Cortez, James Kachiroubas, Juan Ochoa, James Pelikan, Rey Benitez, John Repel, Alexander Rivera, Tara Zambrano, Jose Cortez and Francisco Sanchez.
Richard Gacho and David Santiago, who were both previously indicted in federal court in Chicago as part of the investigation, were also charged, officials said.
Published at 1:13 PM CDT on May 26, 2017 | Updated at 7:00 PM CDT on May 26, 2017