Nicknamed Operation Chicago Connection, the Manhattan drug bust has led to dozens of people being locked away on drug charges. Not surprisingly, in the midst of the opioid epidemic, most of the charges are related to the trafficking of opioids like heroin and fentanyl, although other drugs like marijuana and meth were found in smaller amounts.
The investigation started after a student from Kansas State, Maxwell F. Dandaneu, died of an overdose in 2017. The student was found dead in his apartment with fentanyl, a deadly opioid, as well as heroin in his system. It is believed that the boy was a first-time user who thought he had bought only heroin. As it turns out, the heroin was laced with fentanyl and the results were deadly. His death along with the rising fentanyl problem throughout the state of Kansas and the Manhattan area, in particular, led to a deep search into how this problem developed.
After further investigation, police started to see a connection between the small Kansas city drug problem and Chicago, Illinois. Whispers of “the Chicago Boys” a group responsible for the distribution of the drugs in the Manhattan area came into light. As police dug deeper, they discovered that traffickers were making regular trips to Chicago to get the drug and then bring them back to sell in Manhattan, Kansas, and surrounding areas.
Over 50 people have been indicted from Operation Chicago Connection making it one of the biggest drug busts in the history of the state. The drug bust includes a variety of charges like distributing controlled substances resulting in bodily injury, maintaining a drug-involved premise, and unlawful possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking to name a few. Of these people, six have been locked away with direct connections to the college student’s death that began the initial investigation. Connections to other related overdose deaths have also been made.
As a drug treatment center in Chicago, it is alarming to discover that the drug problems of a small city in another state can be drawn from our hometown. If you or someone you love has a drug problem, get help immediately. Just one time with the wrong mix can be fatal.