News Release
Date: February 23, 2012
Contact: Owen Putman
Number: 312-886-2597

DEA Joins Chicago Mayor, Police in Major Drug Violence,
Gang Reduction Initiative

DEA Chicago SAC Jack Riley (at podium) is joined by Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Superintendent Garry McCarthy, and community, law enforcement, and elected officials as they announce a new partnership to reduce drug violence in Chicago
DEA Chicago SAC Jack Riley (at podium) is joined by Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Superintendent Garry McCarthy, and community, law enforcement, and elected officials as they announce a new partnership to reduce drug violence in Chicago.

FEB 23, 2012 (Chicago) – Jack Riley, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Field Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, and Superintendent Garry McCarthy announced a partnership that will augment the Chicago Police Department’s Violence Reduction Initiative now underway in the Englewood and Harrison communities of Chicago.

“In Chicago, we’ve got anywhere between 40,000 to 60,000 documented gang members,” said SAC Jack Riley. “We also have recently become a hub for the Mexican cartels. That’s a toxic mix and we’re getting out front, leading the way, and doing everything we can from the street level to the international level to put them out of business.”

The DEA Chicago Field Division has committed three Strike Force Groups that include more than 60 highly trained federal, state and local drug law enforcement professionals which will help the Chicago Police Department combat drug related violence that is particularly prevalent in Chicago’s Englewood and Harrison communities. Those teams will work on both short-term and long-term narcotic investigations alongside the Chicago Police Department Gang Intelligence and Narcotics Units in order to target “choke points,” where local gang leaders interact with Mexican drug trafficking organizations.

The DEA will be joined in these efforts by the FBI, U.S. Marshall’s Service, ATF, DHS, and the IRS. These partnerships are extremely valuable and complement the city’s violence reduction initiatives.

In addition to the cooperation taking place between federal and local law enforcement agencies, both the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office will make it a priority to review drug and gun cases in the Englewood and Harrison communities and identify cases that fit guidelines for federal prosecution. These partnerships will provide opportunities for joint investigations, increased information sharing, and stronger penalties.

“We’re putting partnerships, practices, and resources in place to make our communities stronger and more secure,” said Mayor Emanuel. “These partnerships with federal law enforcement agencies are another tool we will utilize to fight crime and reduce violence in our city.”

“Violence in our communities transcends neighborhood boundaries and must be confronted with every available resource,” said Superintendent McCarthy. “Alliances with our federal law enforcement partners will extend the reach of our crime fighting plan and reinforce comprehensive efforts to realize and sustain results in violence reduction.”

Historically, the Englewood and Harrison communities have accounted for 25 percent of overall crime in the city. In January, the Chicago Police Department announced a new Violence Reduction Initiative aimed at driving down crime in these areas. Preliminary results are promising with the Englewood and Harrison districts demonstrating a combined 63 percent drop in murders, and a 36 percent decrease in shootings since the initiative launched, compared to the same time period in 2011.

“It takes a comprehensive effort like the one proposed today to successfully combat violent crime and protect the residents and families in these neighborhoods,” said U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL). “I applaud Mayor Emanuel for bringing together local law enforcement, state and federal agencies and members of Congress around this common goal. I will continue working with my colleagues in Washington to support efforts to reduce violence in our communities.”

On February 19 th DEA SAC Riley, who appeared with Superintendent McCarthy on Chicago’s WBBM radio program “At Issue” said, “The DEA’s mission is to work at the highest level possible. We’re going to go after the trafficking organizations wherever they may be, whether that’s in Mexico, on the border, attacking transportation routes to and from Chicago, or targeting the actual cartel members imbedded in our city, shoulder to shoulder with Garry McCarthy’s people, but DEA can’t stop there. We’ve got to make sure that we follow these organizations down to the streets of Chicago so we can interrupt the violence that’s occurring there.”

Parents and children are encouraged to educate themselves about the dangers of drugs by visiting DEA’s interactive websites at, and