By H. Nelson Goodson
June 20, 2013
Chicago, Illinois - On Thursday, Chicago police and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) executed 11 search warrants targeting nine homes and two vehicles resulting in 21 of 23 suspects arrested in connection for heroin and cocaine distribution that expanded to Wisconsin, Indiana and Illinois, U.S. Attorney Gary S. Shapiro from the Northern District of Illinois announced. The indictments filed on Wednesday included a 10-count criminal complaint charging 23 suspects with possession with intent to distribute or distribution of narcotics in three states.
The joint investigation began back in September 2012 and federal agents between November 2012 to April 2013 seized three pounds of heroin and nine pounds of cocaine. A half pound of heroin was sold to federal collaborators and an undercover DEA agent.
Also crack cocaine and ecstasy was confiscated by feds, according to the indictment.
Three of the suspects are from Wisconsin, Vonzaye Davis, 42, Cory Griffin, 32, both from Milwaukee and Brandon Elsing, 29, of Madison.
Two suspects are from Indiana, Misheela Belcher, 24, and Michael Starnes, 35.
Eighteen suspects are from Illinois, Michael Coleman, 31, Nicolas Franco, 28, Neftali Freytes, 28, aka, "Lucky", Jameson Hamlin, 39, Malcolm Harris, 28, Richard Hicks, 52, aka, "Unc", Charles James, 35, aka, "Chuck", Corey Minnifield, 31, Francisco Mireles, 33, aka, "Pops", Eric Paskon, 32, aka, "E", Angel Perez, 27, "Hellboy, HB, or Fatboy", Eduardo Rivera, 35, Jimmy Serrano, 24, Anwer Shahbaz, 32, aka, "BZ or Baz", Ladell Smith, 27, Daniel Vasquez, 30, Antonio Whiting, 27, and Michael Whiting, 31.
The criminal complaint alleged that Serrano supplied heroin to Michael Whiting who operated as a wholesale heroin supplier along with his brother, Antonio Whiting, James, Coleman and Minnifield. Michael then sold heroin his customers, including Davis and Hicks.
Authorities confiscated a .40 Caliber Glock handgun, a bulletproof vest, and $20,000 cash in a vehicle that Smith was driving. Another weapon, drugs and $10,000 in cash was found in a home that Michael Whiting was using as a stash house.
Eighteen suspects are facing from 5 to 40 years in prison and up to $5 million in fines. Five susects, Mireles, Perez, Shahbaz and Vasquez are facing 10 years to life with fines up to $10 million. Davis is facing up to 20 years and up to $2 million in fines, if convicted.