Federal prosecutors in East St. Louis have charged 23 people with engaging in a criminal enterprise to distribute cocaine. Nine of the suspects are believed to have entered the United States illegally -- most by way of Mexico -- and at least four people in the group had previous been deported from the states.
All 23 suspects have Hispanic surnames and more than a few have colorful nicknames such as Pelon, Cholo, We We and Spyder. All but five of the group reside in the St. Louis area.
Other charges laid out in the indictment include money laundering, racketeering, and weapons charges. The feds claim that the outfit earned proceeds of more than $9 million during the three years they conducted the criminal conspiracy from April 2008 to March of this year.
Continue on to read the entire indictment...
Illinois Drug Ring Indictment