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Chicago gang member pleads not guilty to drug charges

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LA CROSSE, WI (WTAQ) - A Chicago gang member has pleaded not guilty to federal drug charges, after he was arrested in La Crosse in April.

The FBI and local officers apprehended 50-year-old Walter Blackman during a raid at a house in La Crosse. Officials have refused to say why he was in western Wisconsin at the time.

Reports say Blackman is a high-ranking member of the Black Disciples gang in Chicago. Prosecutors charged him selling cocaine in January of 2012, selling heroin the following month, and possessing a stolen handgun last December.

The La Crosse Tribune said Blackman was among 17 Black Disciples arrested with the help of informants, wiretaps, and other surveillance. The paper said a rival gang member was paid over $100,000 for helping out with the investigation. 

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