CHICAGO POLICE HEADQUARTERS — A citywide burst of police raids led to 58 people arrested on gun and drug charges between early Monday and midday Tuesday, with more anticipated before the holiday's end, police said Tuesday.
Police executed 24 search warrants targeting drug traffickers across all 22 of the city's police districts.
Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson said the effort was to send "a message to those who serve as a catalyst to the violence that we will come after you before you can inflict more harm on our communities."
The coordinated raids turned up seven guns, 1,200 grams of cannabis and 500 grams of heroin or crack cocaine by midday Tuesday, police said at a press conference at Chicago Police headquarters, 3500 S. State St.
Of the 58 people arrested, 38 were previously convicted felons, with 10 having been convicted on gun charges, police said.
In preparation for July 4, when the city typically sees a flare-up in violence relative to the rest of the summer, the department's organized crime unit asked each district for a "top 10" list of people "driving violence" in each slice of the city, according to police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi.
Planned for weeks, the raids were simultaneously executed in an effort to tamp down shootings during the holiday, according to organized crime unit chief Anthony Riccio.
"If you're one of these gangbangers — if you're one of the guys driving this violence — you'd be smart to stay underground today," Riccio said. "Because [narcotics officers] are out there looking for the rest of these guys and there's going to be a significant number of people going to jail today."
The two-day operation marked 130 total targets, police said.
Five people were killed and another 50 were wounded in shootings over the weekend, eclipsing the two killed and 30 wounded during last year's July 4 weekend.