LINCOLN PARK — A major player in a $3 million-per-year West Side drug ring lived in the swankiest high-rise in Lincoln Park until his arrest last week, authorities said.
Police raided an apartment in the Lincoln Park 2550 luxury condominium building Wednesday morning where the alleged supplier of the drug ring resided.
Levaughn Collins, nicknamed "Sweet Bobby," lived in a sixth-floor unit in the lakefront building, 2550 N. Lakeview, according to a federal complaint.
According to real estate records, the two-bedroom, 2½ bathroom, 1,450-square-foot unit rents for $5,300 per month.
Collins, 34, also parked his 2014 Gran Turismo Maserati sports car in the building's garage. Spaces in the garage rent for $300 per month.
The building, which opened in 2011 directly across from Lincoln Park, features a $3.79 million penthouse, a movie theater, health club and even a church.
The lobby of 2550 Lincoln Park, where Levaughn Collins lived, according to a federal complaint.
Collins' 2014 Gran Turismo Maserati was seized during the sting. [provided]
A number of residents, who wished to remain anonymous because of the nature of the story, confirmed seeing police in the lobby early Wednesday but said they had never seen Collins in the building.
Authorities would not comment on whether Collins was arrested in the building or elsewhere.
Police began making arrests to take down the "prolific" heroin ring Wednesday morning after charges were filed against 42 people affiliated with the operation.
Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy said the group was selling heroin out of North Lawndale and has controlled the area for at least 10 years.
The area is part of the heroin highway on the city's West Side.
Paul Biasco discusses the details of the bust and complaint:
The investigation was led by Chicago Police as well as agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration's High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task Force.
Members of that specialized task force raided the Lincoln Park condo about 6 a.m. Wednesday, police said.
It is not clear if the black Maserati was parked in the garage during the raid, but police seized the car Wednesday.
Investigators learned that Collins lived in the 39-story building with balconies overlooking Lake Michigan through a series of communication interceptions and other surveillance, the complaint said.
They also confirmed his residence through utility providers, as Collins was listed as the resident at that specific sixth-floor unit.
During the citywide raid Wednesday, police said they recovered 12 guns, about $50,000, nearly a half-kilogram of heroin and more than a half-kilogram of cocaine.
Police arrested 32 of the 42 charged defendants. The remaining defendants are either in custody or at large.
Collins was the top supplier for the operation and obtained wholesale quantities of heroin which were later mixed and packaged for distribution to buyers who sold the drugs near the 3700 block of West Grenshaw Street, authorities said.
The heroin from Collins' organization typically was packaged in small plastic bags stamped with orange basketballs, purple lady logos, green Playboy bunnies, Hershey's kisses or black panda bear symbols, police said.
Collins' stash house was in the 500 block of 103rd Place on the Far South Side. He also rented a storage unit in Willowbrook, according to the complaint.
Collins is one of 12 defendants facing federal charges of conspiracy to possess and distribute more than 1 kilogram of heroin.
“This investigation and arrests associated with this open air drug market demonstrate how effective teamwork by law enforcement agencies can significantly reduce the flow of narcotics into our communities,” said Zachary T. Fardon, U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Illinois.
The 2550 Lincoln Park tower sits across the street from Lincoln Park. [DNAinfo/Paul Biasco]
The pool at 2550 Lincoln Park. [Provided]
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