New Chicago DEA Leader & The Future of Chicago Drug Trafficking

chicago skyline

Chicago has plenty to offer.

Although it is home to popular tourist destinations and iconic food choices, the Windy City has long struggled with drug wars and drug trafficking, just look at the recent drug busts of Operation Chicago Connection that led back to the city.

While the city boasts a rich history of organized crime with gangster and mafia tours, it is also home to real dangers. In order to combat the influence of the Mexican cartels and the growing need for opiate addiction treatment from the epidemic, the city needs strong leadership.

Robert Bell Appointed Chicago Division Leader of DEA

Recently, Robert J. Bell was promoted to Chicago Division Leader of the United States Drug Enforcement Administration. Bell started out as a police officer but began his career at the DEA in 1995 as a special agent. Since that time, he has risen through the ranks with appointments as a Supervisory Special Agent, Section Chief, Executive Assistant to the Deputy Chief of Operations, and Assistant Special Agent in various divisions in the Midwest. Before becoming the new Chicago DEA leader, he was the Associate Special Agent in Charge to the Chicago Division.1 With an impressive resume in the field, the DEA hopes that Bell will be able to make headway in Chicago.

The Future Of Chicago’s Drug Problems

Bell isn’t the only new leader to take on Chicago. Timothy Jones became the Chicago division leader of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, or ATF, earlier this year. The FBI also recently appointed Emmerson Buie Jr., a Chicago native, to the head of the Chicago field office. With this new leadership, there is hope that the authorities will better be able to crack down on Chicago’s drug problems.

A big test for the ATF and Chicago DEA leaders is the suspected clash of two separate Mexican drug cartels over territory for the city’s drug business. El Chapo’s Sinaloa cartel has long dominated the market, but The New Generation cartel is looking to take over. Bell and his team plan to go after the leaders of these organizations.2

Along with facing Mexican cartels head on, Bell and the Chicago division of the DEA are implementing preventative measures to fight drug abuse. The Chicago division of the DEA, Clear Channel Outdoor, and the Chicago Crime Commission announced a partnership this year for a public awareness campaign on the opioid epidemic that has wreaked havoc in the city and the country as a whole. Together the groups have created informative billboards on the dangers of opioid abuse around the city in the hopes of preventing this problem from getting worse and encouraging those who need it to get professional opioid or heroin addiction treatment.   At Banyan Chicago, we see the damage that drugs can have on our community. If you or someone you love is struggling with drug or alcohol abuse, get help today. Our Chicago drug rehab offers various programs to help people overcome their addiction issues and get their lives back on track.

To learn more about how we may be able to help you, reach out to us immediately at 888-280-4763.


  1. DEA - Chicago Division Leadership
  2. ABC7Chicago - New Chicago DEA boss targets 'Trafficking Jam' by 2 drug cartels

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Alyssa is Banyan’s Director of Digital Marketing & Technology. After overcoming her own struggles with addiction, she began working in the treatment field in 2012. She graduated from Palm Beach State College in 2016 with additional education in Salesforce University programs. A part of the Banyan team since 2016, Alyssa brings over 5 years of experience in the addiction treatment field.