Police operation along Rt. 30 nets 64 arrests in south suburbs
Sun-Times Media April 19, 2012 2:58PM
Updated: April 20, 2012 10:58AM
A 10-day joint operation by Cook County Sheriff’s police and members of eight south suburban police agencies along the Route 30 corridor, netted 64 arrests and the seizure of more than $50,000 worth of drugs, as well as drug paraphernalia, fraudulent credit cards and firearms.
The operation, which spanned along Route 30 from the Illinois/Indiana state line west to I-57, was coordinated by the Sheriff’s Gang Crimes Task Force in an effort to curb violence and criminal activity in the communities along the bustling corridor, a release from Sheriff Tom Dart’s office said. Sheriff’s Police gang crimes unit brought together task force members coupled with an aggressive patrol strategy and truck, traffic and DUI enforcement to quell criminal activity in Chicago Heights, Ford Heights, Lynwood, Matteson, Park Forest and Sauk Village.
The operation kicked off on April 4 and culminated on April 13, and involved specifically targeted operations from 6 a.m. until midnight each day. Overall, the operation netted 64 total arrests, 17 of which were serious felony offenses, according to the release.
Additionally, officers seized more than $50,000 worth of drugs, which included a large amount of cannabis, cocaine, prescription drugs, and ecstasy pills, along with numerous drug paraphernalia. False identification and fraudulent credit cards were recovered during one arrest, and over the course of the operation, four illegal firearms were recovered, the release said. Nearly $60,000 in fines were levied against cars and commercial trucks traveling down Route 30 by the Sheriff’s truck, traffic and DUI enforcement team for infractions such as overweight cargo and other vehicle code violations.
“This operation is an excellent example of law enforcement agencies working together to keep an entire area safe, regardless of boundaries,” Dart said.
Dart’s office said that communities along Route 30 reported an instant improvement as a result of the operation. According to the sheriff’s office, because of the aggressive efforts of the 44 officers involved over the course of the operation, street corners that were previously hot spots of criminal loitering were cleared and back to being quiet residential streets.
“It is about time police pool their resources together and show the criminals that the south suburbs will no longer tolerate their nefarious activities,” Chief Michael Mears of the Lynwood police department, said. “It’s about time we take a zero-tolerance stance against those who are a danger to all of our communities, all of our children.”
Dart established the gang crimes task force in 2009, and currently more than 50 municipalities across the county participate. The task force is open to all municipalities in Cook County, and all police chiefs are encouraged to participate in an effort to combat the spread of gangs into suburban areas.