LITTLE VILLAGE — A truck found with $3 million in cash in Indiana in 2011 was the bounty of illegal drug sales in Chicago intercepted by three members of the Gangster Disciples street gang, a new report says.
The street gang had paid the cash to members of a Mexican cartel for the drugs to distribute on Chicago's streets but then followed the suppliers and robbed them of the money back, according to a report in the October issue of Bloomberg Markets magazine.
After the robbery on Interstate 65, the Mexican cartel members called police. After a 15-mile chase, police captured the Gangster Disciples.
The three black gang members were sentenced to three years in prison in May for money laundering. The two men from Mexico, after cooperating, weren't charged, the report says.
The incident illustrates a larger story — headlined "Deadly Connections" — of the notorious Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman's control of drugs in Chicago. According to the report, the money belonged to Guzman and notes that the gang members "have avoided reprisals so far."
Guzman did, however, make his drivers provide evidence that police ended up with the $3 million.
Guzman's Sinaloa cartel annually supplies $3 billion in street drugs — 80 percent of the heroin, cocaine, marijuana and methamphetamine Chicago area market, authorities believe.
The federal government's anti-Guzman efforts are centered in Little Village, with agents zeroing in on "choke points" where drugs are moved between distributors (typically Mexican gang members) and African-American gangs "who control the street," a police official tells Bloomberg.
"The black guys, they need us for drugs and guns because we have the right connection," an Hispanic gang member from Little Village tells Bloomberg.
Guzman's operatives working out of Little Village are reportedly highly secretive.