• Alcohol Facts
  • Crack can be purchased in small amounts enough for two uses for an average of $5 to $10.
  • Crack rocks tend to be sold in sizes of approximately 0.1 to 0.2 grams, which sell for approximately $10 and $20, respectively.
  • The most popular method is to smoke the lumps of crack in a two-chambered water pipe.
  • Chronic use can trigger a full-blown psychosis, with the same symptoms as paranoid schizophrenia.

Police shutdown blatant crack cocaine market

A crack cocaine market operating along Howard Street -- on the Chicago and Evanston border -- was shutdown by police Friday. The operation is called Border Patrol -- a sting that was the culmination of a seven-month investigation. There are certainly bigger drug operations and criminal organizations in Chicago, but it is hard to imagine a crack cocaine business as blatant as this one. Police surveillance cameras videotaped drug sales going down in broad daylight along Howard Street in north Rogers Park.

"These are subjects that sort of took over the neighborhood. They were sort of openly notorious. They would literally smoke in front of kids and sell drugs. Blatantly in front of anybody," said Sgt. Noel Sanchez, Chicago police narcotics sergeant.

Detectives say the dealers didn't care who was watching or who was buying and sometimes the buyers were undercover cops from Chicago and Evanston -- part of the Operation Border Patrol.

"They would take the drugs in their mouth, pass them off from one to another. That sale there took less than three seconds to do," said

Police have eleven members of the drug gang in custody, most charged with criminal conspiracy. Five gang members are fugitives. Among those charged is 23-year-old Omari Andrews of Evanston -- alias "The General." Andrews is said to have led the organization.

Authorities say the gang routinely traded drugs for guns, including these pistols recovered by officers. Today police also confiscated a 45-caliber machine gun, a silencer and small quantities of cash and crack.

Two members of the gang were gunned down last month in an escalating battle with another street gang for control of drug sales on the city's northern border.

"The success of this initiative will significantly improve the quality of life for citizens on both sides of the border," Lt. Michael Fitzgerald.

Detectives say drug gang leader Omari "The General" Andrews is following in his father's footsteps. Henry Andrews was a hit man for the old El Rukn street gang and was recently released from prison. Police say he is back in Chicago just in time to see his son go down on drug conspiracy charges.

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