The Chicago Syndicate

Monday, December 06, 2021

Chicago: An Illustrated Timeline

Located along a lazy, swampy slow-moving river, in a sea of prairie grasses as far as the eye could see along its flat plain, Chicago unexpectedly arose as a thriving, prosperous city. Chicago’s story is one of meeting challenges over and over again. From its inauspicious location, the city developed as a trading location, a transportation hub for the emerging new United States of America, and a magnet for immigrants seeking jobs and a new lifestyle.

In its history, it rose from the ashes of the Great Chicago Fire, spotlighted its own success at the 1893 Columbian Exposition, and birthed and nurtured the American architectural phenomenon, the skyscraper. With vignettes and photography, Chicago: An Illustrated Timeline, follows the Chicago story from its trading post beginnings to its role as a possible American megacity. Using chronology as its structure, the timeline unveils events that are happily remembered, such as the two world’s fairs held in Chicago or the Cubs’ winning the World Series, and those that often are not talked about, such as the Race Riots of 1919 or the Influenza of 1918. Guided by historical figures from various areas of life, first settler Jean Baptiste DuSable, Mayor Richard J. Daley, or Muddy Waters the book covers all aspects of Chicago life, from art and architecture, to craft beer and restaurants to sports. It also tracks the history of architectural styles, the growth of the immigrant communities, and the development of Chicago-style politics.

Join author and Chicago tour guide Ellen Shubart on this detail-packed, visual journey through one of America’s most iconic cities.

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Labar Spann, A Leader of the 4 Corner Hustlers Gang, Convicted of Racketeering Conspiracy, Murder and Extortion for Drug Operation

A federal jury has convicted a leader of the Four Corner Hustlers street gang of participating in a criminal organization that committed murders and other acts of violence while brutally protecting a drug-dealing operation on the West and Southwest Sides of Chicago.

Labar Spann, 43, of Chicago, was found guilty on all four counts against him, including racketeering conspiracy, two counts of murder in aid of racketeering, and extortion. The jury found that Spann committed four murders in a cold, calculated, and premeditated manner as part of the racketeering conspiracy, including the murders of Maximillion McDaniel on July 25, 2000, George King on April 8, 2003, Willie Woods on April 17, 2003, and Rudy Rangel on June 4, 2003.

The conviction is punishable by a mandatory minimum sentence of life in prison. U.S. District Judge Thomas M. Durkin set sentencing for March 9, 2022.

Authorities uncovered the racketeering activities of the Four Corner Hustlers through a lengthy investigation supported by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF). OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies. The Chicago FBI’s Safe Street Task Force, the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task Force (HIDTA), and ATF’s Chicago Crime Gun Strike Force also supported the investigation.

The Four Corner Hustlers operated primarily in the Chicago neighborhoods of West Garfield Park and Humboldt Park on the West Side, and in the former LeClaire Courts public housing development on the Southwest Side. According to evidence presented at the nearly eight-week trial in federal court in Chicago, the gang dealt drugs and robbed rival dealers, while using violence and intimidation to prevent victims and witnesses from cooperating with law enforcement. The gang engaged in numerous acts of violence, including multiple murders and armed robberies.

Spann was indicted in 2017 along with eight other members of the Four Corner Hustlers and two additional defendants. The other defendants pleaded guilty, and several have been sentenced to federal prison terms.

Friday, October 29, 2021

15 Member and Associates of the Sin City Deciples Charged with Racketeering Conspiracy and/or Drug Conspiracy

Fifteen members and associates of the Sin City Deciples have been charged in a Superseding Indictment with a racketeering conspiracy as well as a conspiracy to distribute controlled substances. A sixteenth individual has been charged in a conspiracy to distribute controlled substances.

According to the Superseding Indictment, the Sin City Deciples, originally formed in 1967 in Gary, Indiana, is a motorcycle organization in which its members and associates allegedly engage in acts of violence, extortion, trafficking in stolen property, and narcotics distribution in the Northern District of Indiana and elsewhere.

The fifteen defendants charged with racketeering conspiracy and conspiracy to distribute controlled substances are: Ronnie Ervin Major a/k/a “Black,” 51, of Gary, Indiana; Antoine Jermell Gates a/k/a “Twan,” 44, of Gary, Indiana; Kenneth Christopher McGhee a/k/a “Sonny” and “Angel,” 72, of Merrillville, Indiana; Michael Castro Rivera a/k/a “Puerto Rican Mike,” 64, of Gary, Indiana; Douglas Sherman Blowers a/k/a “Profit,” 41, of Lake Station, Indiana; Daniel Richard Spanley a/k/a “Tattoo,” 42, of Hobart, Indiana; Roger Lee Ervin Burton a/k/a “Bo,” 52, of East Chicago, Indiana; James Ulrich Richardson a/k/a “Little Rick,” 52, of Crown Point, Indiana; Richard White a/k/a “Ignorant Bastard,” 54, of Pittsburg, Pennsylvania; Brandon Romand Parks a/k/a “Baywatch,” 43, of Chicago, Illinois; Herman Troy Jefferson a/k/a “G-Rilla,” 49, of Jacksonville, Arkansas; David Lagrant Guy a/k/a “Fly Guy,” 51, of Merrillville, Indiana; Jessie Donald Willis a/k/a “Chip,” 57, of Portage, Indiana; Marvie D. Gardner a/k/a “Widowmaker,” 51, of Louisville, Kentucky; and Bernard Smith, a/k/a “Flirt” and “Preacher,” 59, of Gary, Indiana. Daniel Richard Spanley a/k/a “Tattoo” is also charged with distribution of cocaine and possessing a firearm as a felon.

The Superseding Indictment also charges Gregory Patrick Weldon a/k/a “Sugar Bear,” 53, of Hobart, Indiana, in the conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, in addition to charging him with distribution of cocaine.

The initial Indictment alleged that Ronnie Ervin Major a/k/a “Black” and Antoine Jermell Gates a/k/a “Twan” engaged in murder for hire and used a firearm during and in relation to murder in connection with the December 19, 2010 murder of Jocelyn Blair. Major and Gates remain charged with these crimes in the Superseding Indictment.

This Superseding Indictment was announced by Clifford D. Johnson, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Indiana, and Kristen de Tineo, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Field Division of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.

These charges are part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) investigation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level drug traffickers, money launderers, gangs, and transnational criminal organizations that threaten the United States by using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies against criminal networks.

Thursday, October 14, 2021

Cities With the Highest Increase in Homicide Rates During COVID

With the homicide rate having spiked by an average of 34% in 50 of the biggest U.S. cities between Q3 2019 and Q3 2021, WalletHub released its report on the Cities With the Highest Increase in Homicide Rates During COVID, along with accompanying videos and expert commentary.

In order to determine which cities have the biggest homicide problems, WalletHub compared 50 of the largest U.S. cities based on per capita homicides in Q3 2021 as well as per capita homicides in Q3 2021 vs. Q3 2020 and Q3 2019.

Cities with Highest Increase in Homicide Rates

1. Atlanta, GA
2. Memphis, TN
3. Chicago, IL
4. New Orleans, LA
5. Baltimore, MD
6. Indianapolis, IN
7. Washington, DC
7. Detroit, MI
9. Louisville, KY
10. Columbus, OH

Note: Rankings are based on data available as of 12:30 p.m. ET on October 11, 2021.

To view the full report and your city’s rank, please visit:

Friday, October 01, 2021

The Iconic Series Cops, Returns Tonight on Fox Nation #CopsNation #FoxNation #BackTheBlue

FOX Nation has greenlit the return of the iconic series COPS and will premiere season 33 on October 1st.

The debut will include the first four episodes and each new installment of COPS thereafter will drop weekly on Friday nights. The deal also includes 15 episodes from season 32.

As part of the COPS launch, FOX Nation will offer all first responders, including police officers, firefighters, emergency medical technicians and paramedics (EMS personnel), a one-year free subscription to the service beginning on Monday, September 13th.

FOX Nation said that COPS is one of the most iconic brands on television with an incredibly passionate fan base. We wanted to show our appreciation to all first responders by combining the launch with a free one-year subscription to give back in a small way to those who place their lives on the line every day to keep us safe.

FOX Nation also debuted a new slate of first responder-themed programming beginning September 13th in conjunction with the launch of COPS, including:

  • 911: On Scene — This ride-along show goes behind the scenes with firefighters, EMTs and paramedics from different agencies across the country as they embark on their dangerous jobs of saving lives.
  • When Seconds Count — Anchored by FOX News Channel’s Harris Faulkner, this special will showcase dramatic footage of various rescues caught on tape, featuring the actual rescuers and the victims involved, telling the emotional stories behind each video.
  • Protect and Serve — Hosted by FOX News Channel contributor and former homicide detective Ted Williams, this program will spotlight the good deeds and the truly heroic and impactful interactions that police officers often perform in the communities they serve.
  • Answer The Call — Centered on the charity by the same name, this special will focus on children of fallen first responders as they recount stories of their loved ones who died in service and discuss how the charity has helped them following the tragedy of 9/11. Answer the Call was formed after 9/11 to support the families of the NYPD, NYFD, PAPD and EMS Personnel who were killed in the line of duty on 9/11.

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