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updated: 5/16/2013 5:21 PM

8 indicted in 'hotline' heroin sales

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Associated Press

Seven men and one woman have been indicted on a charge of heroin trafficking on Chicago's West Side that involved customer calls to a kind of drug-dealer hotline, authorities said.

Federal authorities unsealed the indictment Thursday following the arrest of most of the suspects. Two avoided capture and are the targets of a nationwide manhunt.

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The charges stem from a four-year-old investigation dubbed Operation Heroin Hotline.

The FBI says deals involved customers calling a phone number to place a heroin order. After other calls, buyers would be directed to locations to pick up their drugs. The heroin was usually sold in capsule form.

The charges include distribution of a controlled substance. If convicted, most of the suspects would face a mandatory minimum 5-year prison sentence. They could also get as much as 40 years.

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