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Morse Avenue Drug Bust Another Win Against Violence, Police Say

By Benjamin Woodard | February 22, 2013 8:17am | Updated on February 22, 2013 12:14pm
 Ald. Joe Moore (l.) and Cmdr. James Roussell share details about a recent drug bust near the Morse Avenue "L" station.
Ald. Joe Moore (l.) and Cmdr. James Roussell share details about a recent drug bust near the Morse Avenue "L" station.
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DNAinfo/Benjamin Woodard

ROGERS PARK — Police have rounded up another suspect after a Morse Avenue drug bust that had netted 15 suspects and further cut violence between warring gang factions, the neighborhood's top cop said.

"You should never say you have a no-hitter before the game's over," said Cmdr. James Roussell, but the Rogers Park Police District is the only district in the city to not have a shooting since November.

"That's a big deal," he said.

Community members, beat police officers and Ald. Joe Moore (49th) filed into a room at the district headquarters Thursday night to hear more details about the recent undercover sting operation at an open-air drug market around the Morse "L" station.

Officers carried out a series of videotaped drug buys, arresting 15 people and seizing heroin, marijuana and crack cocaine with a street value of $8,000. Two cars and cash also were confiscated.

A poster board prominently displayed at the neighborhood meeting showed mug shots of the suspects. All but three were tagged with a sticker reading, "In Custody."

Roussell said planning for this bust started about a year ago when his officers did an audit of Rogers Park gangs.

He said the gang surrounding the Morse station — a faction of the Gangster Disciples identified as the Insane Cutthroat Gangstas — was identified as causing the most trouble.

That gang and another faction of the Gangster Disciples called Lawless Outlaw Crazy, whose territory expands from Jarvis Avenue to Evanston and from Clark Street to the lake, had been in a gang war since the 2008 stabbing of 16-year-old Isiah Stroud near the Jarvis "L" station, Roussell said.

"Most violence in the district is from the ongoing conflict of the factions," he said.

Moore praised the officers for the bust and for keeping crime at bay in his ward.

Roussell said there had been no robberies reported in the last seven days.

"The fact we haven't had a shooting, the fact we haven't had a robbery," Moore said, "is a testament to their hard work."