UNITED STATES NEWS

Chicago police tout seizure of 8 tons of marijuana

Jun 28, 2012, 7:54 PM

Associated Press

CHICAGO (AP) – Authorities in Chicago on Thursday showed off eight tons of marijuana they found in a tractor-trailer, saying the drug seizure will help with efforts to combat gang violence in the nation’s third-largest city.

“The competition between narcotics dealers for these markets is keen and it results in violence,” said police Superintendent Garry McCarthy. “This is not the (violent) crime. This is the driver of the crime and when we make seizures like this, we can affect street level sales … and it impacts on crime in the city.”

Chicago has seen a dramatic increase in homicides this year _ up about 50 percent so far when compared with the same period last year _ and police blame much of the violence on the city’s gangs.

Jack Riley, special agent in charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Chicago office, said the marijuana was grown in Mexico and shipped to Chicago for street gangs to sell. He said gangs would have been hungry for the marijuana, which has an estimated street value of $40 million. “That leads to violence,” he said before Thursday’s media briefing.

The announcement also came a day after the City Council passed an ordinance that allows police to write tickets instead of making arrests for procession of 15 grams or less of marijuana. The eight tons of marijuana is the equivalent of more than 7.2 million grams, prompting officers to ask each other jokingly just how many tickets so much marijuana was worth.

The jokes aside, McCarthy, who supported the ordinance, said such large seizures would go further in stemming violence than arresting people for small amounts of marijuana. He has said the ordinance will allow officers to stay on the street where they could fight crime rather than being involved in the time consuming arrest process for minor marijuana cases.

“Eliminating those markets, working on supply … is going to make the city safe,” he said.

One alderman who voted for the ordinance said a drug dealer resorts to violence to protect his criminal operations, “not the joint in his pocket.”

“This (amount of marijuana) is what they’re fighting for,” said Alderman Roderick Sawyer. “They’re fighting for money and power.”

Authorities say the seizure of so much marijuana shows how Chicago is increasingly becoming a player in the often-violent international drug trade.

“Chicago is rapidly becoming a hub for the (Mexican drug) cartels throughout the country,” said Riley, who said the drug dealers look at the city in the much the same way that trucking businesses and other kind of operations that distribute their products around the U.S.

“This is a perfect place to set up shop,” he said.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

United States News

FILE - President Joe Biden speaks in the East Room of the White House, Feb. 23, 2024, in Washington...

Associated Press

Regulator proposes capping credit card late fees at $8, latest in Biden campaign against ‘junk fees’

NEW YORK (AP) — The Biden administration announced a rule Tuesday to cap all credit card late fees, the latest effort in the White House push to end what it has called “junk fees” and a move that regulators say will save Americans up to $10 billion a year. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s new […]

3 hours ago

Associated Press

Stock market today: Wall Street inches lower as retailers post holiday numbers

Wall Street pointed modestly lower Tuesday as more retailers post results from the holiday season and ahead of appearance by Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell before Congress later this week. Futures for the S&P 500 slipped 0.3% and futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.2%. Momentum has slowed for U.S. stocks after hitting […]

6 hours ago

A San Francisco Police Department officer walks around Union Square, Friday, March 1, 2024, in San ...

Associated Press

San Francisco votes on measures to compel drug treatment and give police surveillance cameras

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Voters in San Francisco will weigh in on a pair of public safety measures on Tuesday’s ballot that reflect frustration over crime and drug use in the politically liberal city, including a proposal to compel treatment for adults using illegal drugs who receive cash welfare benefits. The other ballot measure would […]

7 hours ago

FILE - Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón speaks during a news conference Feb. 22,...

Associated Press

LA County’s progressive district attorney faces crowded field of 11 challengers in reelection bid

LOS ANGELES (AP) — One of the country’s most progressive prosecutors, who faced two recall attempts within four years, is set to be tested as he seeks reelection against 11 challengers to remain the district attorney of Los Angeles County. Tuesday’s nonpartisan primary pits incumbent George Gascón against opponents who range from line prosecutors in […]

7 hours ago

Associated Press

Californians to vote on measure governor says he needs to tackle homelessness crisis

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Californians are set to vote Tuesday on a statewide ballot measure that is touted by the governor as a major step to tackle homelessness and would be the first major update to the state’s mental health system in 20 years. Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom says Proposition 1 is needed to tackle […]

8 hours ago

Associated Press

Alabama lawmakers aim to approve immunity laws for IVF providers

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama lawmakers, who face public pressure to get in vitro fertilization services restarted, are nearing approval of immunity legislation to shield providers from the fall out of a court ruling that equated frozen embryos to children. Committees in the Alabama House of Representatives and the Alabama Senate on Tuesday will debate […]

8 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Midwestern University

Midwestern University Clinics: transforming health care in the valley

Midwestern University, long a fixture of comprehensive health care education in the West Valley, is also a recognized leader in community health care.

...

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Day & Night is looking for the oldest AC in the Valley

Does your air conditioner make weird noises or a burning smell when it starts? If so, you may be due for an AC unit replacement.

...

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Valley residents should be mindful of plumbing ahead of holidays

With Halloween in the rear-view and more holidays coming up, Day & Night recommends that Valley residents prepare accordingly.

Chicago police tout seizure of 8 tons of marijuana