Gun violence and illegal drug activity continue to be major concerns in the greater Chicago area. The problem, however, is not limited to the inner city. Fortunately, neither are actions by law enforcement. This week, police in Will County conducted a large-scale sweep that resulted in the seizure of drugs and guns, as well as the arrest of at least 12 people—many of whom are suspected to have connections to gang activity and related violence.
A Cooperative Effort
Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow help a press conference on Tuesday to announce the success of the operation. He said that more than 100 law enforcement officers from local, state, and federal agencies, including the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, were involved in the sweep. According to Joliet Police Chief Brian Benton, the sweep began at 6 a.m. on Tuesday and a dozen arrests were made within five hours. Arrest warrants were issued for four more individuals who have yet to be apprehended.
By the end of the operation, more than 200 grams of cocaine and other drugs had been seized, along with 31 firearms and ammunition. The weapons ranged from small, pocket-sized handguns to a machine gun designed to be mounted on a military vehicle. The guns were put on display on two tables during Glasgow’s press conference and will be processed by the county’s crime lab. Law enforcement efforts in relation to the sweeps were focused on members of two street gangs—the Vice Lords and the Gangster Disciples. Glasgow said that multi-jurisdictional sweeps like this let “drug dealers and gun traffickers know without question that we mean business.
Illegal Weapons in Illinois
The state of Illinois has been long known for having some of the most stringent gun laws in the country. It is against the law possess a firearm without a valid Firearm Owner’s Identification Card (FOID) which is issued by the Illinois State Police. An additional Concealed Carry License (CCL) is required for a person to legally carry a concealed firearm. The CCL is also issued by the State Police. Even with a CCL, it is illegal to carry a firearm in certain locations, including schools, casinos, bars, parks, or arenas, among many others.
Most weapons violations that involve a firearm are prosecutable as felonies, and the associated penalties can be severe. If you have been charged with a weapons offense, it is important to enlist the help of an experienced Joliet criminal defense attorney . Call 815-740-4025 for a free consultation at the Law Office of Jack L. Zaremba today. Mr. Zaremba is a former Will County prosecutor who understands the challenges you may be facing, and he is ready to assist you in protecting your future.