Suspicious neighbor leads cops to drugs, cash in Uptown

James Burrell and some of the items police say they seized from his vehicle and clothing. | CPD

One concerned resident’s 911 call about a suspicious vehicle on their block ended with the seizure of drugs and cash from a “known criminal street gang member,” Chicago police said.

Officers responded to the 1100 block of West Winona in Uptown around 10 p.m. on Saturday after someone reported that a man had been sitting inside a parked Lexus for an hour, according to a police report. Police approached the car and allegedly saw the driver, 33-year-old James Burrell, sweeping something off the center console. The smell of burnt pot spilled from Burrell’s car when he rolled down a window to speak with police, officers said.

Approximate location of the arrest

Police said they saw a bag of cannabis in plain view and six baggies of suspected heroin on the driver’s floorboard. There were 21 bags of crack cocaine in Burrell’s pants pocket, police said. A jacket in the car contained eleven more bags of suspected crack, 25 packaged ecstasy pills, 21 amphetamine pills in a prescription bottle, and $800 cash, according to court records.

Burrell is an admitted member of the Black P-Stones, police said.

Prosecutors charged him with felony possession of heroin; two counts of felony possession of crack cocaine; felony possession of Ecstasy; and felony possession of amphetamine. Judge John Lyke set bail at $10,000.
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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