Migrant who sold crack to undercover cops is a Venezuelan gang member: Chicago police report

Camejo

CHICAGO — A migrant who sold cocaine to undercover Chicago cops three times is a member of a Venezuelan street gang, according to details listed in his CPD arrest report. Edwin Camejo, 27, was arrested Monday, December 11, at his Back of the Yards home.

Prosecutors said he sold cocaine to undercover officers on October 30, November 13, and shortly before he was arrested. Cops said they found a baggie containing $487 worth of suspected crack cocaine in his waistband when they stopped him.

Camejo “is a El Tren de aragua gang member from Venezuela,” officers wrote in his arrest report. It does not say how authorities arrived at that conclusion about Camejo.

Prosecutors charged him with four felony narcotics violations. Judge William Fahy released him the next day.

As recently as this autumn, Tren de Aragua, believed to be the largest criminal organization in Venezuela, operated from inside a Venezuelan prison, which it outfitted with restaurants, bars, and outdoor swimming pools. Venezuela’s interior minister claimed in September that the government had “dismantled” the gang’s operation at the prison after sending in 11,000 soldiers and police officers.

The Chicago Police Department, citing Cook County sheriff’s office intelligence, warned the city’s cops about the presence of Tren de Aragua members within the city’s migrant community on October 23. A couple of weeks later, the Sun-Times dismissed the idea, saying there was “scant evidence” of a gang presence within the more than 20,000 migrants who had arrived over the past year.

“The gang is known in South America for human trafficking, drug sales, kidnapping and the violence that comes with it all,” the paper reported. It determined there was “little proof” of a gang presence in the 20,000 migrants by reviewing arrest reports of migrants charged with shoplifting and domestic violence.

A Chicago Police Department internal alert about Tren de Aragua. | Provided

A joint operation

Luis Acosta Acosta, a 23-year-old migrant who previously lived at the Standard Club shelter in the Loop, has been arrested for allegedly selling joints outside the shelter. He has another felony case pending for allegedly doing the same thing on November 1.

Acosta was first arrested on August 15 after cops said they saw him riding his bike around the 47th Street Red Line station lobby before he passed through the turnstile without paying. Prosecutors dropped the case on September 28.

Just over a month later, on November 1, Chicago police officers said they watched him conduct hand-to-hand transactions for “loose items” he grabbed from a baggie inside Pritzker Park, 20 West Van Buren.

When they confronted Acosta, they allegedly found 47 joints in a plastic bag and a baggie containing suspected cannabis, his CPD arrest report said.

Officers said he was carrying $810 in cash and had $268 worth of cannabis when they arrested him.

He was charged with felony manufacture-delivery of cannabis and walked out of the Central (1st) District police station about six hours later.

Court records show he failed to appear in court as ordered on November 27. He didn’t go missing for long.

On December 6, Chicago police officers said they watched him conduct hand-to-hand transactions for “loose cigarettes” he grabbed from a box on Plymouth Court, a few yards from the Standard Club’s front door.

He dropped the box when cops started walking toward him, his latest arrest report says. The box contained 26 “prerolled cigarettes” suspected to contain marijuana, according to the report. He was carrying $200 cash at the time.

Prosecutors charged him with manufacture-delivery of cannabis again, and Judge Charles Beach detained him for allegedly committing a new felony while on pretrial release. The next day, Judge Robert Kuzas set him free.

He’s due in court again on Tuesday.

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