10 Individuals Charged for Drug Trafficking in the South Side of Chicago
CHICAGO — Sheila G. Lyons, Special Agent in Charge of U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration Chicago Field Division, and Acting U.S. Attorney Morris Pasqual for the Northern District of Illinois announced charges against 10 individuals for allegedly trafficking fentanyl and other drugs on the South Side of Chicago.
The multi-year investigation, led by the DEA Chicago Field Division and the Chicago High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area program, utilized undercover and controlled narcotics purchases, covert surveillance operations, and wiretapped communications to shut down a drug trafficking operation. Criminal complaints filed in federal court in Chicago allege that the defendants were affiliated with the Gangster Disciples, a Chicago street gang. The traffickers allegedly used a designated cellular telephone to receive and service narcotics orders, with various defendants taking shifts working the phone to distribute narcotics.
Most of the defendants were arrested Tuesday and have begun making initial appearances in U.S. District Court in Chicago. Law enforcement on Tuesday also executed court-authorized searches of multiple locations in Chicago.
Three complaints charge 10 individuals with federal narcotics violations:
Charged in this federal drug conspiracy are Kevin Ware, 49, of Chicago; Christopher Ware, 45, of Chicago; Brandan Allen, 31, of Chicago; Ricky Williams, 37, of Chicago; Darrel Brooks, 51, of Chicago; Leroy Presley, 49, of Riverdale, Illinois; and Ernest Rowlette, 49, of Chicago.
The charges allege that Kevin Ware led a trafficking organization and oversaw its operation, including managing the potency and supply of the narcotics it sold. He allegedly held discussions with dealers regarding best practices for interacting with customers and what types of deals to offer them. Kevin Ware also allegedly obtained information from his dealers about their interactions with law enforcement. Soon after two law enforcement seizures of suspected narcotics last year, Williams and other dealers reported the incidents to Kevin Ware, the complaint states.
The conspirators allegedly utilized a residence in Chicago’s West Pullman neighborhood as a “stash house” to store narcotics and cash. In 2021 and 2022, undercover law enforcement officers and cooperating sources made approximately 44 controlled purchases of narcotics from members of Kevin Ware’s organization, the charges allege.
Kevin Ware is also charged in a second federal drug case, along with Michael Pearson, 49, and Jamie Pearson, 46, both of Chicago.
According to the charges, the defendants distributed fentanyl and fentanyl-laced heroin. Michael Pearson allegedly conducted several drug deals in Chicago’s Pullman and West Roseland neighborhoods. One of the alleged deals occurred in May 2021 in a delicatessen in the 10700 block of South Michigan Avenue, where Michael Pearson arranged for the sale of heroin mixed with fentanyl and methamphetamine, the complaint states. Unbeknownst to Michael Pearson, the buyer was cooperating with law enforcement, the complaint states.
Charged with distributing fentanyl and fentanyl-laced heroin is Reginald Allen, 22, of Chicago. Reginald Allen allegedly sold the drugs on the South Side of Chicago on several occasions in 2021 and 2022.
Joining DEA Chicago SAC Lyons and Acting U.S. Attorney Pasqual in making the announcement were Nicholas J. Roti, Executive Director of Chicago HIDTA, and Fred Waller, Interim Superintendent of the Chicago Police Department. Valuable assistance was provided by the U.S. Marshals Service. The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Alejandro G. Ortega and Edward Liva.
The case is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force operation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles drug trafficking organizations and other criminal networks that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state, and local enforcement agencies.
The public is reminded that complaints contain only charges and are not evidence of guilt. The defendants are presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.