Good afternoon. Here’s the latest news you need to know in Chicago. This is a roughly five minute read that will educate you on today’s biggest stories.
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From flipping Big Macs to importing tons of cocaine: The Chicago twins who helped bring down El Chapo say McDonald’s was their business model
The twin brothers who authorities say were the most prolific drug dealers in Chicago history – and, after being arrested, helped bring down Sinaloa Cartel drug kingpin Joaquin” El Chapo” Guzman Loera – say they learned some of their management skills cooking fries and working the drive-thru at a McDonald’s.
In new interviews, Pedro Flores and Margarito Flores say they were 17 when they decided to work at the burger chain’s restaurant at 26th Street and Kedzie Avenue in Little Village.
The Golden Arches gave the brothers a basic education in running a business, from having a consistent product to being prepared to absorb financial loss, they say in the new podcast “Surviving El Chapo: The Twins Who Brought Down A Drug Lord”, offering a rare inside look at the drug trade.
The twins say they received their first lessons in running a drug business from their father in the late 1980s after he finished serving a prison sentence for arranging a heroin deal in the same Little Village McDonald’s.
The brothers say they were just 7 years old when they accompanied him on road trips to buy marijuana in Mexico. They learned how to compress marijuana to transport it to Chicago, spray Coca-Cola on the leaves to make them stick together, according to the podcast, and learned how to cross the border, which routes to take and how to avoid the attention of customs officers. Their father moved to Mexico and their older brother Armando Flores, a drug dealer, became their father figure, forcing them to help around the house, attend a Catholic school and get home before the evening curfew. from the city. But Armando Flores went to jail on a drug charge in 1998, and the twins were on their own.
The brothers made their first drug deal at McDonald’s on 26 and Kedzie, not far from their home, according to the podcast. At 17, they say, they were selling a lot of cocaine, sitting on $1 million in profits, and needed to create a system “where you can’t screw it all up.” For them, McDonald’s was the model.
The podcast doesn’t always identify which brother is speaking, but someone is heard saying, “I was learning the business part at McDonald’s. I’m learning to make fries. I am learning to grill. I washed the dishes. I did the drive-in. I did the front.
“It was a great experience for both of us, I think.”
More news you need
- Bail has been denied for a restaurant owner accused of killing his girlfriend, who was eight months pregnant with his child, prosecutors said. Yaer Shen, 46, has been charged with first-degree murder, intentional homicide of an unborn child and concealment of death by homicide, prosecutors said.
- In new lawsuit, three women claim Loyola University Chicago ‘systematically mishandled and underreported student complaints of sexual misconduct’ and ‘maintained a de facto policy’ to ‘suppress reports of sexual violence’ and sexual harassment”. Our Mary Norkol has more on their stories and the situation of the university here.
- In other campus safety news, the University of Chicago has received seven reports from undergraduate students in the past two months that they may have been drugged at campus parties, and one of them said they had been sexually assaulted. The university sent out an alert yesterday encouraging students with similar experiences to file a report.
- Two officers who allegedly lied about the shooting death of a 25-year-old man are now facing fire more than 12 years after the deadly encounter, which cost the city millions of dollars in a lawsuit. Our Tom Schuba has more on the disciplinary charges filed by the Chicago Police Superintendent. David Brown here.
- With tensions high across the country ahead of hotly contested midterms, Chicago officials gathered at a downtown polling place today and pledged to protect voters and election officials. They also insisted there was no imminent threat ahead of polling day.
- Governor JB Pritzker has pledged to remove a barrier to abortion for people in prison. The announcement comes after a WBEZ investigation found that those incarcerated had to pay for the procedure and the corrections officer’s salary required to accompany them to appointments outside of the prison.
- For the past few years, Shara Washington has cooked meals for Chicago’s homeless, delivering the food to Near West Side encampments while funding the effort herself. “Cooking is my love language,” Washington told our Michael Loria for his recent outreach coverage.
- Tucked away in the highly controversial 764-page new law that scraps Illinois’ cash bond system is a paragraph that could have a big impact. This means that people caught with small amounts of drugs will not have to stay in jail for days until they are brought before a judge. The change follows a Sun-Times/BGA investigation last year that documented the impact of “no way out” drug arrests in which people are briefly locked up, only to see charges soon dismissed.
- Sean “Diddy” Combs could become a dominant player in the cannabis industry with an estimated $155 million deal underway for production and retail outlets in the Chicago area, New York and Massachusetts . Combs buys assets divested by Cresco Labs as part of its acquisition of competitor Columbia Care, making Combs the nation’s first black marijuana investor with multi-state operations.
Morton Grove’s Vesna Glisovic sends the city of Chicago very special holiday wishes this year.
A 55-foot-tall Colorado blue spruce tree that stood on the lawn of her family’s home for many decades has been chosen to be the city’s official Christmas tree this year, it has been announced. this morning. The tree, selected from nearly 80 entrants in the city’s annual Christmas Tree Hunt, will take up residence in Millennium Park for the holiday season.
Vesna and her husband, Mike, both from Serbia, moved into their Morton Grove home in 1990 and found the young spruce tree – barely taller than her husband at the time – was a perfect part of their landscape , especially during the holidays.
“We would decorate it with Christmas lights every year,” she said. “But then it got so big that we couldn’t decorate it anymore.”
The tree was nevertheless loved by the family, as it became the “beautiful backdrop” for many of their celebrations.
“We were taking pictures on vacation and for graduations, out front, and when our son got married in mid-December, he and his wife came here to take their pictures, opening a bottle of champagne just in front, to celebrate the day, so we loved the tree,” Glisovic said.
Glisovic said she thought about entering the tree contest for several years, but never did. This year she decided it was time because it was becoming apparent that the tree was in its twilight years and would need to fall anyway.
“I am so happy to share our tree with the world and be part of this tradition,” Glisovic said.
From the press gallery
Your daily question☕
What only Chicagoans know how to do?
Email us at [email protected] and we might feature your response in the next afternoon edition.
Yesterday we asked you: what can all the people of Chicago agree on?
Here’s what some of you said…
“Any Chicagoan can agree that our winters are freezing, our summers scorching, and when we’re alone we put ketchup on our hot dogs.” — Gene Tenner
“Chicago summer is the reason we endured Chicago winter. —howard moore
“Alleys are better than no alleys (like New York).” — Sean Rossignol
“The skyline is the best!” — Reni Blue Spruce
“Our baseball teams will let us down nine times out of 10, but we can’t help but love them.” — Christopher B. Alexandrov
“Italian beef is the king of all sandwiches in the United States.” — Mike Niz
“Good house music.” — Maurice Moore
“It will always be the Sears Tower!” — Jose Lozano
“Our pizza is the best.” — Amit Bhambri
“Lake Michigan is beautiful!” — Joe Flynn
“Don’t swim in the river.” —Giannis Michaels
“Mustard is the only answer.” — Kurtis Arndt
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