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More than two hundred law enforcement officers swept into Chicago's South Side early this morning and arrested 39 leaders of the Gangster Disciples, the city's most violent and feared gang, on various drug and conspiracy charges. U.S. District attorney James Burns promised that the arrests would "severely cripple" gang activity in the city. "This is a very big blow, but it is certainly going to be hard to cripple an organization that has 40,000 to 50,000 members," says TIME's Julie Grace. "There are kids waiting in line to join the Disciples and move up in the ranks. And, most importantly, right now all of the key members are in jail, and that's where the orders have been coming from."