Chicago’s Operation Monticello’s Revenge Ends Year-long Heroin Sting
Chicago has been cracking down on a number of hard drugs in the past year, including heroin. One particular sting just concluded after a year of investigations. This sting led to the discovery of hundreds of thousands of dollars in heroin sales and the arrest of 22 people.
This sting, the result of Operation Monticello’s Revenge, tracked the sale of more than 27 pounds of pure heroin and 57 pounds of heroin laced with fentanyl.
This may have generated as many as 39,000 individual “blow” packets. Based on Chicago’s heroin laws, the people caught by the sting are now facing significant penalties and the potential for decades in prison.
What Criminal Drug Charges Did the Chicago Sting Involve?
The majority of the people in the sting are being charged with “conspiring to distribute illegal narcotics.” This is the charge of selling or trafficking hard drugs like heroin.
Four suspects were charged with additional offenses, including manufacturing the drug. These charges may have significantly different penalties depending on the amounts of heroin each person is proven to have handled.
Penalties and Laws Pertaining to Heroin in Illinois
Chicago has serious penalties for drug crime convictions involving heroin. There are three general categories of charges for handling this illicit substance: charges for possession, for selling, and for trafficking or manufacturing the drug.
These three categories have various penalties depending on the amount of heroin involved with each criminal charge.
Manufacturing, Trafficking, and Selling Heroin
The Monticello’s Revenge sting largely focused on the selling and trafficking of heroin. These crimes are considered more serious than mere possession because they directly relate to distributing the substance to others (especially those who suffer from addiction).
The trafficking and manufacturing of heroin is always a felony charge. Penalties can range from 4 to 60 years in prison and fines of up to half a million dollars when dealing with the end product.
Possessing the Ingredients for Heroin
It is also possible to receive a charge of manufacturing heroin if you possess the ingredients involved in making heroin. The ingredients that can lead to a charge of intent to manufacture include:
These and any other ingredients used to make the three most common forms of heroin – black tar, brown, or white powder heroin – can be enough to receive a charge of trafficking. Even when no heroin is found, prosecutors may charge you with the intent to manufacture the maximum amount of heroin the ingredients would permit.
This can lead to significant penalties, including anywhere from 6 to 60 years in prison and fines of up to half a million dollars or the street value of the drug – whichever is higher.
Conspiracy to Distribute Heroin
The Monticello’s Revenge sting not only included these charges but also included the charge of conspiracy to distribute. This is a very specific charge. In order to be convicted of this charge, the accused must meet some very specific requirements:
- The accused must have possessed heroin or profited off of heroin by at least $500, and
- They must have worked with two other people to make this profit.
Being charged with conspiracy can significantly increase the penalties an offender already faces. Depending on the amount of profit and the volume of the drug involved, penalties include up to $500,000 in fines and up to 60 years in prison.
Heroin charges are no joke. Even possessing the ingredients to make heroin can lead to a life in prison if you are convicted. If you have been charged with any type of heroin crime, you should immediately reach out to an experienced Chicago drug crimes attorney to discuss your options.
About the Author:
Andrew M. Weisberg is a former felony prosecutor who now serves as a defense attorney in the greater Chicago area. He has extensive experience in handling all types of criminal cases, from sex offenses and domestic violence to retail theft-related crimes, murder, and drug crimes. His work has been recognized by Avvo, Expertise, National Trial Lawyers, and others, and he has been featured on countless news outlets for his experience and knowledge in criminal law.