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50 arrested in raids on ‘secret’ Facebook group in Chicago

CHICAGO — Several overnight raids netted 50 arrested in Chicago after police there infiltrated a Facebook group where guns and drug were being sold, PIX11 News’ sister station WGN reports.

It was part of a 10-month operation that began in February when a police informant told investigators about gun and drug trafficking going on in a dark corner of social media – the so-called “secret” groups on Facebook.

The raids took place all over the city, from the North Side to the West Side and the South Side.

Among the 50 people arrested is a Chicago Public School teacher. Police said the teacher was arrested this week at Leland Elementary School, where they were found with drug paraphernalia.

Undercover officers posed as drug and gun buyers and over the course of the investigation they removed 18 illegal guns from the streets, officials said.

Police said this investigation was complicated and lengthy, in part because Facebook was not cooperative in trying to identify criminal activity.

Police estimate there are dozens of illegal Facebook groups that are being used to facilitate crimes, including drugs, guns and human trafficking.