CHICAGO
03/03/2013 05:46 pm ET

Chicago Police Arrest 38 Suspected Gang Members In Culmination Of Major South Side Drug Busts

Chicago police busted up two South Side drug operations and arrested 38 suspected gang members to close out a pair of targeted missions earlier this week.

“Dismantling drug markets is critical to decreasing gang violence and criminal activity in our communities,” said Police Supt. Garry McCarthy in a statement released Saturday. “We improve the quality of life in our City by taking down these drug markets and removing the involved criminals, weapons, and narcotics from the streets.”

One target of the investigations was an open-air drug markets in Morgan Park along S Racine between 109th and 111th streets; the Associated Press reports the market was operated near a school.

Undercover police work ultimately led to 19 arrests Wednesday, during which police seized "two vehicles
with cash," along with heroin, cannabis, ecstasy, and crack cocaine, the release states.

The second, unrelated investigation was into a ring of three street gangs selling narcotics in the South Chicago neighborhood in the 8000 block of S Escanaba near Rainbow Beach. Police say the three-month long operation
culminated with 18 more arrests Thursday, along with the recovery of heroin, cannabis, and crack cocaine.

Authorities say Chicago cops also found two semi-automatic handguns, one rifle and one replica semi-automatic handgun during the busts, according to DNAinfo Chicago.

The laundry-list of charges slapped on the suspects taken into custody included Unlawful Use of Weapon, ossession and Delivery of a Controlled Substance Within 1,000 feet of a School and Delivery of Cannabis Within 1,000 feet of a School.

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