"Methamphetamines and other illegal drugs destroy the lives of
individuals, families and entire communities," Blagojevich said. "We
should use every resource at our disposal to fight the production,
distribution and use of these drugs throughout the state. This
funding will help us take another step forward by strengthening our
ability to fight illegal drugs at the county level."
Anti-Drug Abuse Act, also known as the Edward Byrne Memorial State
and Local Law Enforcement Assistance Program, and the Justice
Assistance Grant funding will aid 20 narcotics enforcement units and
eight narcotics prosecution units in fighting drug crimes in 66
The Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority will
administer the funds to narcotics units throughout the state. The
units are also known as metropolitan enforcement groups, or MEG
units, and drug task forces. The Illinois Criminal Justice
Information Authority is the state agency designated by the governor
to administer Anti-Drug Abuse Act and Justice Assistance Grant funds
awarded to Illinois by the U.S. Department of Justice.
Each unit will create specific strategies to address trends in
the manufacture, use and distribution of illegal drugs in each of
the 66 counties. Methamphetamine use remains a major focus of task
forces in central and southern Illinois, while units in northern
counties, such as DuPage, Kane and Lake, focus on marijuana, heroin,
cocaine, Ecstasy and other designer drugs.
The multicounty narcotics units were introduced in 1991.
In 2005, metropolitan enforcement groups and task force
Made 3,470 drug
arrests and obtained 2,233 convictions.
Identified and seized
954 clandestine meth labs.
Seized 166,583 grams
grams of marijuana.
grams of cocaine.
"MEG units and other special task forces are impacting the drug
trade in Illinois," said Lori G. Levin, executive director of the
Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority. "Illegal drug usage
is epidemic, and we're going after it with all the resources we have
Eight multicounty drug prosecution units will work with the
metropolitan enforcement groups and drug task forces to develop
legally sound drug cases, prosecute offenders and conduct
Enforcement unit grants will be given in the following amounts
and serve the following counties:
State Line Area
Narcotics Team Task Force, $119,996
Lake County MEG,
Narcotic Task Force, $139,670
DuPage County MEG,
Task Force, $69,579
Jo Daviess County
Metropolitan Area Narcotics Squad, $139,644
Zone 3 LaSalle
Task Force, $58,634
Rock Island County
Zone 6 Task Force,
MEG, $143, 581
Enforcement Group, $138,569
Illinois Task Force, $133,389
Illinois Drug Task Force, $85,064
Illinois Task Force, $107,122
Illinois Drug Task Force, $134,002
Enforcement Group of Southwestern Illinois, $467,598
St. Clair County
Drug Task Force, $201,393
Enforcement Group, $142,498
[to top of second column]
Prosecution unit grants will be given in the following amounts
and serve the following counties:
Cook County State's
Attorney's Office, $1,271,946
Complex Drug Prosecutions Program
State's Attorney's Office, $156,415
Kane County State's
Attorney's Office, $143,967
Lake County State's
Attorney's Office, $204,858
State's Attorney's Office, $83,394
Appellate Prosecutor, $440,486
Rock Island County
St. Clair County
State's Attorney's Office, $108,003
Will County State's
Attorney's Office, $132,528
In addition, the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority
will use a $50,000 federal grant to create the Clandestine
Laboratory Reporting Information System, known as Claris; an online
database; and a website that will allow all law enforcement agencies
in Illinois to report meth lab seizures. All agencies, including
Illinois State Police, will report data through Claris to the
federal El Paso Intelligence Center data repository, known as EPIC.
This comprehensive information-sharing network will provide data to
help pinpoint allocation of resources for:
Training and safety
equipment for responders, since both offenders under the
influence of methamphetamine and the toxic chemicals used in the
labs pose particular dangers to firefighters, police officers
and other responders.
innocent victims, since children or neighbors living near a meth
lab may suffer adverse health effects.
Analysis to help
law enforcement agencies identify offenders.
Data to support
treatment efforts for offenders.
Access to the EPIC national network requires membership fees to
be paid through a regional information-sharing system, presenting a
hardship for small police departments.
Another drawback to the present system is that the Illinois State
Police network's information is not completely assumed into the EPIC
database. About 85 percent of Illinois methamphetamine lab seizure
reports appeared in EPIC's 2004 compilation.
Reporting lab seizures to EPIC will be required in order to
receive federal funding for meth reduction activities. Claris allows
the state to obtain credit for all Illinois meth lab seizures.
Accurate data will help in the process of obtaining federal grant
funding to address meth issues in Illinois.
Since 2003, Blagojevich has taken several actions that make it
harder for meth producers to obtain ingredients and that stiffen
penalties for manufacturers, dealers and users.
Last June, the governor announced that in their first year of
operation, the Illinois State Police's six Meth Response Teams
handled a total of 750 meth-related incidents, made 653 arrests and
seized nearly 213,000 grams of drugs and materials related to the
production of meth. The governor created the teams last year as part
of the state's ongoing effort to combat the proliferation of one of
the fastest-growing and most dangerous illegal drug trades in
Additionally, the governor has signed several meth-related bills
into law, including the Methamphetamine Precursor Control Act, one
of the most significant anti-methamphetamine statutes enacted to
Senate Bill 273 created and designated pseudoephedrine as a
Schedule V substance. The bill was signed by Blagojevich in November
2005 and became effective on Jan. 15, 2006. The new law restricts
the retail sale of pseudoephedrine-containing products to
pharmacists or pharmacist technicians only and requires purchasers
of pseudoephedrine-containing products to show identification and
sign a log.
Other significant meth-related bills signed by the governor
statewide methamphetamine offender registry in Illinois for
people convicted under the "participation in methamphetamine
manufacturing" statute. The bill requires the Illinois State
Police to establish, maintain and publish the registry via the
Internet, tracking conviction reversals and court orders
requiring the sealing or expungement of records relating to the
Creating the new
offense of meth trafficking for individuals who knowingly bring
methamphetamine or its precursors or cause methamphetamine or
its precursors to be brought into Illinois with the intent to
make, deliver or sell meth. The new law will help prevent meth
manufacturers from trying to get around Illinois' tough
restrictions on access to pseudoephedrine by going to other
states for meth ingredients.
establishment of an anhydrous ammonia security grant program by
the Illinois Department of Agriculture. The grant will create a
pilot program with goal of increasing security measures around
anhydrous ammonia facilities by encouraging the industry to use
industry-approved ammonia additives and install tank-locking
devices and security systems to prevent the theft of anhydrous
ammonia for the illegal manufacture of meth.
Setting up the
Methamphetamine Law Enforcement Fund, which assesses a $100 fine
on top of other fines and sentences for anyone found guilty of a
drug-related offense involving possession or delivery of meth.
[News release from the governor's