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GetSmart About Drugs - A DEA Resource for Parents

News Release
January 22, 2004

Routine Drug Investigation Uncovers Three Grenades and Launcher

JAN 22—CHICAGO, IL - During the course of a routine drug investigation the Drug Enforcement Administration's HIDTA Violent Crime Task Force uncovered a 37mm launcher and three grenades.

The launcher and three suspected live grenades were found in a trash receptacle outside the Vanderpoel Elementary School, 9510 South Prospect Avenue, after agents investigated suspicious drug activity in the area.

The Chicago Police Department's Bomb and Arson Unit took measures to render the grenades safe and removed any potential safety hazard from the discovered materials. The launcher was transferred to the DEA as potential evidence should those responsible be identified. The Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms will conduct the subsequent weapons investigation as well as maintain custody of the grenade launcher following evidence processing. The FBI was also notified of the drug investigation and discovery of the grenades and launcher.

Violent crimes in many metropolitan areas have significantly increased over the past few years and this trend has been directly associated with drug organizations and street gangs. The mission of the DEA Violent Crime Task Force, also known as the Drug Related Violent Crimes Initiative (DRVCI), is to maximize coordination between federal, state and local law enforcement agencies.

The routine investigation that led to the seizure of this weapon was part of that cooperative drug-law enforcement effort. The DEA / HIDTA Task Force initiative consists of the Chicago Police Department (CPD), the Cook County Sheriff's Police (CCSPD), and the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (ATF); as well as other area law enforcement agencies.

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