Wednesday, May 23, 2007
sponsored by Graue Inc. & Illini Bank

Gov. Blagojevich announces $5.2 million to fight meth and other drugs in Illinois

Funds will be used to combat the manufacture and distribution of drugs and to prosecute drug offenders          Send a link to a friend

[May 23, 2007]  SPRINGFIELD -- Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich announced Tuesday that more than $5.2 million in federal funds will help fight drug crimes in 64 counties throughout Illinois. The funding will be distributed to 28 multi-jurisdictional narcotics enforcement and narcotics prosecution units and will be used to conduct undercover drug operations, crack down on methamphetamine labs and prosecute drug offenders, among other programs.

"Every day, law enforcement officers fight hard to keep drugs off our streets. Methamphetamines and other illegal drugs destroy lives and decimate communities. We must use every resource to fight the production, distribution and use of these drugs. These funds will help us strengthen the fight against illegal drugs in dozens of counties throughout the state," the governor said.

The Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority will administer $2.8 million in federal Justice Assistance Grant funds to 20 multi-jurisdictional narcotics units, also known as metropolitan enforcement groups and drug task forces, throughout the state. In addition, eight prosecution units across the state will receive almost $2.5 million in Justice Assistance Grant funding for narcotics-related prosecutions.

Narcotics enforcement units create local, individualized strategies to address drug problems facing the county or counties they serve. Methamphetamine remains a major focus of the units in central and southern Illinois. Seizure of marijuana, heroin, cocaine and other designer drugs remains a priority for northern counties, including DuPage, Kane and Lake.

"For the past 16 years, these multi-jurisdictional narcotics enforcement units have successfully fought drug crimes across the state," said Lori G. Levin, executive director of the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority. "We support their efforts and those of the prosecution units in stemming the illicit trade in drugs that continues to plague our communities."

Grants will be given to the following units:

  • Blackhawk Area Task Force ($69,579) -- includes Jo Daviess, Carroll, Whiteside, Henry and Lee counties

  • Central Illinois Enforcement Group ($138,569) -- includes Logan, Mason, Sangamon, Morgan and Christian counties

  • DuPage County Metropolitan Enforcement Group ($145,625)

  • East Central Illinois Task Force ($107,122) -- includes Shelby, Moultrie, Douglas and Coles counties

  • Joliet Metropolitan Area Narcotics Squad ($139,644) -- includes Grundy and Will counties

  • Kankakee Metropolitan Enforcement Group ($150,730)

  • Lake County Metropolitan Enforcement Group ($271,209)

  • Metropolitan Enforcement Group of Southwestern Illinois ($467,598) -- includes Madison, St. Clair and Monroe counties

  • Multi-County Metropolitan Enforcement Group ($71,179) -- includes Peoria, Knox, Marshall and Tazewell counties

  • North Central Narcotic Task Force ($139,670) -- includes McHenry, DeKalb and Kane counties

  • Quad-Cities Metropolitan Enforcement Group ($31,895) -- Rock Island County

  • South Central Illinois Drug Task Force ($85,064) -- includes Greene, Macoupin and Montgomery counties

  • Southeastern Illinois Drug Task Force ($134,002) -- includes Cumberland, Clark, Crawford and Clay counties

  • Southern Illinois Drug Task Force ($201,393) -- includes White, Franklin, Saline, Washington and Clinton counties

  • Southern Illinois Enforcement Group ($142,498) -- includes Jackson, Williamson and Union counties

  • State Line Area Narcotics Team Task Force ($119,996) -- includes Stephenson, Winnebago and Boone counties

  • Vermilion County Metropolitan Enforcement Group ($143,581)

  • West Central Illinois Task Force ($133,389) -- includes Henderson, Hancock, McDonough, Fulton, Adams, Brown and Pike counties

  • Zone 3 LaSalle Task Force ($58,634) -- includes LaSalle and Bureau counties

  • Zone 6 Task Force ($64,106) -- includes Livingston, McLean and DeWitt counties

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Multi-jurisdictional drug prosecution program grants will also be given to the following counties:

  • Cook County State's Attorney's Office ($1,174,104)

  • DuPage County 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)

  • McHenry County State's Attorney's Office ($83,394)

  • State's Attorneys Appellate Prosecutor ($440,486) -- includes Champaign, Jefferson, Kankakee, Macon, Madison, McLean, Peoria, Rock Island, Sangamon, Tazewell and Winnebago counties

  • St. Clair County State's Attorney's Office ($108,003)

  • Will County State's Attorney's Office ($132,528)

Federal Justice Assistance Grant funding can be used for state and local initiatives in the areas of law enforcement, prosecution, crime prevention and education, corrections, drug treatment programs, and planning, evaluation and technology improvement. The Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority is the state agency designated by the governor to administer Justice Assistance Grant funds awarded to Illinois by the U.S. Department of Justice.

In 2006, metropolitan enforcement groups and task forces:

  • Made 3,229 drug arrests, including 1,039 for marijuana and 2,190 for other controlled substances.

  • Seized a total 302,951,879 grams of controlled substances, up tenfold from the previous year's seizure of 30,502,508 grams of controlled substances.

  • Seized 1,306 grams of heroin, an increase from 1,215 in 2005.

  • Seized 302,023,153 grams of marijuana, more than 10 times the 28,843,527 grams seized in 2005.

  • Seized 17,015 grams of crack cocaine, more than three times the 2005 seizures.

During the first two years of operation, the Illinois State Police's six Meth Response Teams handled a total of 1,507 meth-related incidents, made 1,541 arrests and seized nearly 45,238,363 grams of drugs and materials related to the production of meth. The governor created the teams in 2005 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 Illinois.

Additionally, the governor signed several meth-related bills into law, including the Methamphetamine Precursor Control Act. One of the most significant anti-methamphetamine statutes enacted to address meth, it created and designated pseudo ephedrine as a Schedule V substance. The new laws also restrict the retail sale of pseudo ephedrine-containing products to pharmacists or pharmacist technicians only and requires purchasers of pseudo ephedrine-containing products to show identification and sign a log.

[Text from file received from the Illinois Office of Communication and Information]

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