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Alvarez announces racketeering charges

July 19, 2014 GMT

CHICAGO (AP) — Cook County prosecutors have charged five people in a racketeering investigation that they say targeted members of an organized crime outfit involved in drug trafficking, home invasions and kidnapping.

Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez’s office announced the charges Saturday.

Robert Panozzo, Paul Koroluk and Maher Abuhasah (MAH’-hehr aboo-HAHB’-sah) were charged with racketeering conspiracy and criminal drug conspiracy. Panozzo’s son and Koroluk’s wife face drug charges.

All were ordered held Saturday, and it wasn’t clear whether they already had attorneys.


“Operation Crew Cut” was a 10-month investigation by state and federal law enforcement targeting members of the Panozzo-Koroluk street crew.

Prosecutors say the group at times posed as police to rob drug cartel stash houses.

In one home invasion last year, prosecutors say Panozzo sliced the ear off a victim.