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updated: 10/3/2012 8:09 PM

9 Aurora men charged in federal drug, gun bust

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An investigation that began in the spring of 2011 and involved an informant working with authorities has resulted in federal drug and gun charges against nine Aurora men.

The investigation, which was led by the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, resulted in the seizure of five firearms and various amounts of crack cocaine, powder cocaine and heroin, according to federal prosecutors.

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Authorities said 10 additional defendants are facing state drug or weapons charges in Kane County in connection to the investigation.

Five of the nine federal defendants were arrested Wednesday, while four were already in custody.

All nine federal defendants were charged with at least one count of distribution of a controlled substance for selling to an individual who was cooperating with law enforcement, according to prosecutors.

Two defendants were also charged with being felons in possession of firearms for selling a weapon an admitted member of an Aurora street gang who was working with police.

"The operation exemplifies the ongoing partnerships the Aurora Police Department has established with our federal law enforcement partners to reduce criminality by relentlessly attacking the nexus between gangs, drugs and illegal weapons," said Aurora Police Chief Greg Thomas.

Lawrence Donaldson, 26, is accused of selling the informant two 12-gauge shotguns, a .45-caliber pistol and a .38-caliber handgun and heroin, according to prosecutors. Kendrick Webber, 27, is charged with selling the informant a .22-caliber revolver, ammunition and crack cocaine.

Aurora residents Antioine Harris, 30, Maurice Payne, 43, Johnathon Ibister, 31, Rasheed Naylor, 31, Keiotto Tennial, 33, Arnoldo Cepeda, 36, and Mark Jones, 36, were charged with distribution of a controlled substance.

The U.S. ATF was assisted by the U.S. Immigration and Customers Enforcement, Homeland Security and the Aurora police.

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