Gun, drugs, cash recovered during sting operation at West Loop homeless camp, Chicago cops say

CHICAGO — An undercover narcotics operation near a West Loop homeless camp resulted in two arrests and the recovery of a firearm, cash, and supplies of suspected heroin and crack, according to Chicago police reports reviewed by CWBChicago.

Ronnel Kado, 24, and George Crayton, 48, were both arrested on February 6 near a camp established under a viaduct at Lake and Clinton streets, according to the reports.

An undercover Chicago police officer allegedly bought two baggies of suspected heroin from Crayton with cash that had recorded serial numbers. Crayton provided the two baggies to Crayton for delivery to the covert cop, police said.

Officers found a cache of drugs and a pistol inside a tent that Kado allegedly used. Two backpacks inside the tent contained 50 small baggies of suspected heroin and 51 baggies of suspected crack cocaine, according to court records. A loaded 9-millimeter handgun outfitted with a laser site was on the floor of the tent, according to police.

One of the backpacks allegedly contained Kado’s ID, credit cards, and $2,281 in cash. In court records, officials estimated the total value of the drugs to be about $5,100.

George Crayton (top) and Ronnell Kado were arrested near the tent city at Lake and Clinton. (Chicago Police Department, CWBChicago)

He is now charged with unlawful use of a weapon and four narcotics-related felonies. Crayton is charged with two narcotics-related felonies.

Judge David Kelly released both men to await trial. Crayton failed to appear in court on February 13. The judge issued a warrant for his arrest. Kado’s next court date is March 7.

Court records show that Kado was placed on 18 months of first-time weapon offender probation for another gun case in September.

Chicago police arrested Crayton last April after they allegedly saw him conduct a hand-to-hand transaction in the 500 block of West Van Buren. The cops said he hid between two cars and tried to dump out baggies of heroin as they approached him. Prosecutors dropped the charges three weeks later.

The homeless camp at Lake and Clinton has been an ongoing problem for local residents who have reported consistent problems with drug sales and other crimes in the area. A man was murdered at the intersection of Lake and Clinton in December. Another man was shot at the same location in November.

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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