By WCCO-TV Staff

DULUTH, Minn. (WCCO) — Several individuals of a Chicago-based drug trafficking group have been arrested and charged Wednesday for transporting fentanyl and heroin from Chicago, Illinois to Duluth.

The Duluth Police Department says the drugs were distributed by the Chicago-based drug trafficking organization members to local dealers who sold the drugs throughout Duluth, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and several other counties and reservations.

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Police say the trafficking was uncovered by an investigation from members of the Lake Superior Drug Violent Crime Task Force, and have been investigating since June 2021.

Over seven months, law enforcement found that the DTO was responsible for transporting and selling over 10 pounds of heroin and fentanyl, which has a street value of over $725,000, said police.

Chicago resident Nicholas Calloway, 23, was the leader of the DTO. Investigators also found his source of supply as a 34-year-old Chicago resident. Both are being held in the Cook County Jail in Chicago, awaiting extradition to Minnesota, said police.

Calloway has been charged with conspiracy to commit arson in the first degree, arson in the first degree and robbing another DTO member of heroin and cash.

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According to police, arrests were made earlier this month in Minnesota, Illinois and Wisconsin. 14 members of the organization have been arrested, including six Duluth residents.

Arrest warrants have also been issued for several others including a Minneapolis and Duluth resident, said police.

Gilbert resident Leonard Kochevar, 39, has been charged in St. Louis County with two counts of conspiracy to commit drugs and conspiracy to commit importation of controlled substances across state borders.

Chicago resident Jerome Falkner, 24, was also charged in St. Louis County with two counts of conspiracy to commit drugs, conspiracy to commit importation of controlled substances across state boarders and card fraud.

According to police, law enforcement seized one firearm, around $9,000 in cash and over 500 grams of heroin and fentanyl mixture in Duluth.

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