Wacker Drive drug sting wraps up with at least six arrests

The Jewelers Building clock on the left is a landmark at 35 East Wacker Drive. A staircase beneath the clock leads to Lower Wacker, where widespread drug transactions and shootings have been reported. | Google

Chicago police have wrapped up a months-long undercover operation that targeted narcotics sales on Lower Wacker Drive in the Loop. Six people have been charged with selling heroin, cocaine, or both to covert officers during the summer months.

Attention has been drawn to the Wacker Drive narcotics den since February when a man who ran from police during a street stop at 35 East Lower Wacker shot and killed Chicago Police Commander Paul Bauer minutes later outside the Thompson Center.

Then, on June 29th, a 14-year-old boy was shot in the leg when a man on a Divvy bike opened fire at 35 East Lower Wacker. At the time, police said the teen had been “purchasing merchandise” on Lower Wacker.

On August 17th, a 34-year-old man was shot on the upper level of 35 East Wacker Drive. The shooter was said to have fled to the lower level.

Left to right: Donaldson; Elem; Holomshek; Johnson; Maens; and Torres. | Chicago Police Dept

Here are the six persons charged so far in the drug operation and the allegations against them:

• Anta Donaldson, 54, of the Lower West Side is charged with three felony counts of manufacture-delivery of crack cocaine and three felony counts of manufacture-delivery of heroin. Judge John Lyke released her on a recognizance bond.

• Michael Elem, 32, of the Lower West Side is charged with one felony count of manufacture-delivery of cocaine. He was given a recognizance bond by Judge Michael Clancy. Elem was also held on a Will County warrant for manufacture-delivery of cannabis, according to court records.

• Jeremy Holomshek, 35, of the West Loop is charged with felony manufacture-delivery of cocaine and felony manufacture-delivery of heroin. Judge Clancy released him on a recognizance bond.

• Edward T. Johnson, 34, of Wicker Park is charged with felony manufacture-delivery of cocaine. Judge Lyke set his bail at $50,000 with a stipulation that he go on electronic monitoring if released.

• Michael Maens, 34, of Garfield Park is charged with felony manufacture-delivery of cocaine and felony possession of seven bags of heroin, according to court records. Judge Lyke set his bail at $150,000. Last Thursday, Judge Peter Gonzalez reduced Maens’ bail to $10,000 and Maens went free by posting a $1,000 deposit bond.

• Isaac Torres, 27, charged with eleven felony counts of manufacture-delivery of cocaine, has been ordered held without bail. More detailed information about the allegations against Torres was not immediately available.

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CWBChicago was created in 2013 by five residents of Wrigleyville and Boystown who had grown disheartened with inaccurate information that was being provided at local Community Policing (CAPS) meetings. Our coverage area has expanded since then to cover Lincoln Park, River North, The Loop, Uptown, and other North Side Areas. But our mission remains unchanged: To provide original public safety reporting with better context and greater detail than mainstream media outlets. Our editorial email address is news@cwbchicago.com