Earlier this month, a major drug trafficker, whose base was on the West Side, was sentenced to 37 years in prison by a federal judge.

According to a statement released Aug. 11 by the U.S. Justice Department, David Price “operated a violent drug operation responsible for supplying more than 90 kilograms of heroin to numerous open-air markets.”

Price used the profits from his drug-dealing to purchase numerous luxury houses in Chicago and the suburbs, luxury vehicles and expensive jewelry and designer clothes. He often resorted to violence to protect his drug empire, including “personally murdering a former business partner who cooperated with law enforcement,” according to the Justice Department.

Although a federal jury convicted Price in 2014 on all 13 counts against him, he was sentenced on Aug. 10 by U.S. District Judge Harry D. Leinenweber. Price’s counts, according to the Justice Department statement, included “charges of heroin conspiracy, money laundering and illegally possessing an Uzi-style, semiautomatic pistol with an extended magazine.”

In their sentencing memo, Assistant U.S. Attorneys Angel M. Krull and Erik Hogstrom called Price “a lifelong criminal” who became a millionaire “by pushing heroin on a suffering community, putting money, power, and unspeakable violence above his family, above his childhood friends, above his community, and above everything.”

According to case records, Price — nicknamed “Shorty,” “Li’l Dave,” and “Hot Sauce” — ran his heroin distribution ring from 2005 until 2011. His group of co-conspirators included Keith Carr, Rashid Bounds, Christopher Saunders, Greg Holden and James Brown.

Carr, 35, whose records indicate he was Price’s cousin, was sentenced in 2016 to 20 years in prison for his part in the operation. Bounds and Saunders are currently serving prison terms of nearly 18 years each.

Brown, 35, was wounded in a 2008 shooting that law enforcement officials stated was ordered by Price. Brown, the officials stated, had been cooperating with law enforcement and testified against Price at trial.

Court documents show that on Dec. 8, 2011, Price “broke into Holden’s apartment in Woodbridge and shot him approximately 20 times while Holden was home with his two young daughters.” The two had been lifelong friends and business partners. At the time of his murder, Holden had been cooperating with law enforcement.

According to records, the men operated a drug-trafficking business that supplied wholesale quantities to different areas on the West Side, including the intersections of Augusta and Keeler; Augusta and Lawler; Augusta and Laramie/Leamington; Kostner and Cortez/Thomas; and Iowa and Lamon.

“Each drug spot had a direct supervisor,” court records note. Carr, Brown, Saunders and Holder, among others, were direct supervisors.

Those supervisors reportedly mixed the heroin supplied by Price with the sleeping pill Dormin, “thereby increasing the amount of the heroin mixture while decreasing its purity to a point at which it could be sold to users.”

Price and other supervisors would mix and package the heroin to be distributed at an apartment located at 5242 W. Division. They also mixed and packaged the drug at apartments near Roosevelt and Central; Pine and Fulton; and Hirsch and Lorel, court records show.

According to officials, Price used his drug profits to purchase or lease a string of luxury residences that included a South Michigan Avenue high-rise unit and houses in Naperville, Bolingbrook, Lombard, Brookfield, Darien and Country Club Hills. Among his fleet of vehicles, Price owned a Chevrolet Corvette and a Harley-Davidson motorcycle.

Cinespace connection to union official charges

According to the Chicago Tribune, sources say that Cinespace Chicago Film Studios, the massive North Lawndale facility where hit TV shows like "Empire," "Chicago Fire," and "Chicago P.D." are filmed, is the "unnamed company" that Teamsters union representative John T. Coli allegedly extorted.

Coli was charged in July with extorting "quarterly payments of $25,000 cash" from that unnamed company.