Aurora man accused of heading up 'open-air drug market' on Chicago's West Side

Updated 5/12/2022 2:25 PM

Federal prosecutors say an Aurora man was the ringleader of a now-dismantled "open-air drug market" operated by gang members on Chicago's West Side.

Nathaniel Evans, 38, is charged with federal drug conspiracy along with nine other men, eight from Chicago and one from Forest Park.


Prosecutors said Evans "directed the drug trafficking operation and supervised the three open-air markets" in Chicago's West Garfield Park neighborhood between February 2021 and April 2022.

A joint investigation by federal and local law enforcement agents led to the arrest of Evans and the nine others, as well as 20 other individuals now facing state drug charges.

The arrests led to the seizures of several kilograms of fentanyl-laced heroin and cocaine, as well as the recovery of "four rifles, four handguns, a submachine gun, a shotgun and more than 450 rounds of ammunition," according to court papers.

Prosecutors said all 10 men are in custody and have made their initial court appearances.

All 10 suspects face life in prison if convicted of the conspiracy charge.

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