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Black Disciples leader among 23 charged in Chicago

Black Disciples leader among 23 charged in Chicago

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CHICAGO (AP) — A purported leader of one of Chicago's largest street gangs and more than 20 other alleged gang members face drug and gun trafficking charges in federal criminal complaints unsealed on Wednesday.

The 34-year-old Darnell McMiller, who prosecutors say is the current leader of the Black Disciples, is accused of conspiring to distribute fentanyl-laced heroin on the city’s South Side.

There are more than 4,000 members of the Black Disciples gang in Chicago, the Chicago Crime Commission estimates, though many aren’t active. The gang that formed around 1970 also has branches nationwide.

The complaint offers no details about McMiller’s alleged role as gang leader. Prosecutors successfully targeted heads of Chicago’s main gangs in the 1990s, splintering gangs into hundreds of smaller, less disciplined factions.

Charging documents say the investigation of McMiller, who went by the nickname “Murder,” was aided by a gang member cooperating with authorities. The evidence includes wiretap recordings.

The suspects were arrested Tuesday. Twenty-two were charged with various drugs and firearms charges, while one faces bank fraud charges, a U.S. attorney’s office statement says.

The newly filed court documents did not include the name of an attorney for McMiller.

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