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THE SHERIFF’S OFFICE

The Sheriff’s Office is committed to serving and protecting all of Lake County through a department of law enforcement professionals.

LATEST NEWS & HIGHLIGHTS

Twenty-One Captured in Federal and Local Investigation Operation "Shut Down the Hustle"

Lake County State's Attorney Michael G. Nerheim announced that a multi-agency investigation by an FBI-led task force, the DEA, the Lake County Metropolitan Enforcement Group, Lake County Sheriff's Office, Waukegan Police Department, Zion Police Department, North Chicago Police Department, Mundelein Police Department and the Lake County State's Attorney's Office has resulted in charges under the Illinois Street Gang and Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO Act) against twenty-one alleged members and associates of the 4 Corner Hustlers street gang.

The charges are set forth in criminal complaints filed under seal in the Lake County State's Attorney's Office- the complaints were unsealed this week. Additionally, the complaints charge the following individuals: Gregory Harris Sr. also known as "Chili-G", 42, Tyrone Springs,47, Harlin Barnes, also known as "H.B." and "Cool Kid 40",33, James Allard also known as "Jimmy",41, Demetrius Spencer,49, Ryan Hawkins also known as "Big-Lo",33, Fabian Golden, also known as "Golden Child",31, Jill Dotson, 61, Brittany Pickens, 28, Shaleshea Keller,39, Anthony Glover also known as "Tully",29, Nigel Patrick also known as "Jilla", 43,Gregory Harris Jr. also known as "Lil Greggo",20, Jason Anaya-Whitaker also known as "D.J. Gold",36, Desmond Washington, 42, Clifton Johnson also known as "Dot",21, Luis Melendez also known as "Speedy",33, Kenneth Fitzhugh,22, Seneca Davis,28, Garland Bone, also known as "Killa Krame", 33, and Derek Gordon, 35.

The charges announced today are the result of the investigation into the distribution and selling of cocaine, heroin, prescription pills, as well as purchased and transferred firearms across Lake County. Several of the defendants are also suspected of being involved in violent crimes in the area. According to the criminal complaint, the leader of the ring is Gregory Harris Sr. He allegedly supervised and organized the sale and distribution of the aforementioned narcotics and firearms. The complaint set forth a number of drug and firearm transactions carried out by the defendants over the course of the investigation.

The investigation, which began in January 2014, is part of an ongoing and coordinated effort by local, state and federal authorities as part of the federal government's Safe Streets Program to identify and dismantle the many highly organized drug trafficking gang organizations operating in and around the Lake County area. This operation employed sophisticated investigative techniques.

During the course of operation "Shut Down the Hustle", large quantities of cocaine, heroin, prescription pills, and cannabis were seized. A number of firearms were recovered.

Illinois Street Gang and Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO Act) passed in 2012. It is a state law that allows the prosecution of organized crime in a broader sense. It also allows law enforcement to charge a criminal organization, group and/or gang based on involved illegal activities.

All of the individuals were arrested without incident in and around Lake County on the morning of Thursday, October 30, 2014. Coordinated efforts between several investigators, detectives and police officers led to the successful arrests of these defendants.  The defendants appeared in bond court yesterday before the honorable Judge Christen Bishop. Bonds were set as follows:

1.         Gregory Harris Sr. $10 million, bond he is scheduled to appear in court on 11/20/2014

2.         James Allard $10 million bond, he is scheduled to appear in court on 11/20/2014

3.         Brittany Pickens $1 million bond, she is scheduled to appear in court on 11/20/2014

4.         Tyrone Springs $1 million bond, he is scheduled to appear in court on 11/20/2014

5.         Jill Dotson $1 million bond, she is scheduled to appear in court on 11/20/2014

6.         Harlin Barnes $1 million bond, he is scheduled to appear in court on 11/04/2014

7.         Gregory Harris Jr. $750K bond, currently in custody of the Illinois Department of Corrections

8.         Anthony Glover $750K bond, he is scheduled to appear in court on 11/20/2014

9.         Desmond Washington $750K bond, he is scheduled to appear in court on 11/20/2014

10.        Nigel Patrick $500K bond, he is scheduled to appear in court on 11/03/2014

11.        Kenneth Fitzhugh $500K bond, currently in custody of the Lake County Jail

12.        Garland Bone $500K bond, currently in the custody of the Lake County Jail

13.        Demetrius Spencer $500K bond, currently in the custody of the Lake County Jail

14.        Ryan Hawkins $500K bond, currently in the custody of the Lake County Jail

15.        Fabian Golden $500K bond, he is scheduled to appear in court on 11/04/2014

16.        Jason Anaya-Whitaker $250K bond, he is scheduled to appear in court on 11/20/2014

17.        Derek Gordon $250K bond, he is currently in the custody of the Lake County Jail

18.        Clifton Johnson $250K bond, he is currently in the custody of the Lake County Jail

19.        Shaleshea Keller $250K bond, she is scheduled to appear in court on 11/03/2014

20.        Seneca Davis $100K bond, he is currently in the custody of the Lake County Jail

21.        Luis Melendez $100K bond, he is scheduled to appear in court on 11/20/2014

 

If convicted, sentences for the defendants range from seven to thirty years or 25 years to natural life in the Illinois Department of Corrections.

"This case signifies a commitment to our new approach at tackling gangs, guns and drugs.  The RICO statute allows us to build a case against an entire organization, rather than one individual at a time.  These cases are long, labor intensive, and cannot be done without the cooperation of several agencies, but they allow us to dismantle an entire organization at a time," said State's Attorney Nerheim.  "We will continue to aggressively seek out and prosecute those that bring drugs and violence into our community.  This is the first RICO case in Lake County's history and anybody involved in street gang activity should know that it will not be the last," he added.

Lake County State's Attorney Nerheim thanks all of the law enforcement entities involved with this ten-month investigation. The dedication and commitment of  law enforcement officials is greatly appreciated. In addition, State's Attorney Nerheim greatly appreciates the collaboration from the Cook County State's Attorney's Office on their assistance in the preparation of this RICO case.

Lake County Sheriff's Office Warns Resident of Phone Scammers

In addition to the information below which was released on October 2, 2014 a new phone scam is on the rise in Lake County.  Telephone scammers are stating they are calling from the Lake County Sheriff’s Office Warrants Division.  The scammer tells the victim they missed jury duty and in order to avoid being arrested for Contempt of Court they must purchase gift cards in the amount of several hundred dollars.  The Lake County Sheriff’s Office does not accept gift cards as a form of payment for bond or any other fine.  The accurate number for the Lake County Sheriff’s Office Warrants Division is 847.377.4300 and is answered Monday-Friday 8:00 am-5:00 pm.  Anyone receiving a telephone call from one of these scammers should call their local police agency and file a report. 

The Lake County Sheriff’s Office is urging residents to be alert when speaking to strangers on the phone. Scammers are on the rise in Lake County and nationally. Some scammers appear to be very friendly referring to the victim by first name and asking about their family. Then the scammer tells the victim they are a grandchild or relative stranded in jail or another country. The scammer then asks for money to be wired to an account for bond or air fare.

If you get a call like this, take down the phone number and tell them you will call them back. Then call your local police agency for assistance in verifying if the call is a scam.

Other scammers are more hostile. In Lake County, a scammer claims to be Steve Martin from the IRS. Scammers claiming to be from the IRS or the U.S. Treasury tell victims they owe money to the government and that it must be paid immediately through a credit card, pre-loaded debit card or wire transfer. Those who refuse are told they will be arrested, deported or have their business license or driver’s license suspended.

The IRS and U.S. Treasury will not ask for credit card numbers over the phone or wire-transfers. If you get a call like this slam on the scam and call your local police agency.

Roadside Safety Check & Halloween Patrols

Between October 25, 2014-October 31, 2014, the Lake County Sheriff’s Office will conduct a Roadside Safety Check and additional Halloween Patrols.

The Roadside Safety Check is scheduled for October 25, 2014 during the hours of 11:00 pm-3:00 am at an undisclosed area in Lake County.  A Roadside Safety Check is an effective tool for generating voluntary compliance by the motoring public.

Each year in Illinois, hundreds of lives are lost in alcohol-related crashes. Don’t risk losing your license, your car and your freedom. If you drive impaired, law enforcement will arrest you.

Deputies working these details will also look for drivers operating vehicles in an unsafe manner, driving with a suspended or revoked driver’s license and to ensure all Illinois Vehicle Code laws are being followed.

The Roadside Safety Check and additional Halloween Patrols are funded through a grant from the United States Department of Transportation, National Highway Administration. The grant is administered by the Illinois Department of Transportation, Division of Traffic Safety. 

2014 Marine Unit Statistics

The Lake County Sheriff’s Office Marine Unit was exceptionally busy this year.  The boating season began at the end of April and ended on October 11, 2014.  The Marine Unit operated 4 days a week with a total of 15 Marine Unit Deputies.  This boating season has been documented as the coldest and wettest in the last 10 years. 

The Marine Unit received a total of 917 calls for service, handled 12 accident reports, and responded to a record low of one fatality.  When the Marine Unit was not responding to calls for service they conducted 642 safety boarding’s, 568 traffic stops where they issued 331 citations, made 54 operating under the influence arrests, and conducted 84 business checks. 

Increased enforcement along with the increased responsibility of boat operators contributed to the safety on the waterways in Lake County this year, making this one of the lowest injury seasons dating back to 2007.  The Lake County Sheriff’s Office plans to continue on that track in 2015.  

Prostitution Arrest

On October 13, 2014 the Lake County Sheriff’s Office Special Investigations Unit arrested Vernell Cauley, 35, of the 1800 Block of Aberg Av in Madison, Wisconsin after a traffic stop which was part of a highway interdiction detail. 

On October 13, 2014 at approximately 2:00 pm Cauley was pulled over on northbound I94 near Route 120 and provided false identification to avoid apprehension on a Wisconsin Department of Corrections escape warrant.  Through interview it was learned that Cauley was pimping two female passengers in the vehicle which he posted advertisements on Backpage.com for. 

Cauley was charged with Obstructing Justice (Class 4 Felony), Promoting Prostitution (Class 4 Felony), Fugitive from Justice (Class 4 Felony), Unlawful Possession of Cannabis, and Driving while License Suspended.

Cauley’s jail bond was set at $50,000.00.  He is scheduled to appear in court on October 21, 2014.



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Sheriff's Office

Sheriff Mark C. Curran Jr.
Sheriff Mark C. Curran Jr.

Undersheriff Raymond Rose
Undersheriff Raymond Rose

Lake County Sheriff's Office
25 S. Martin Luther King Jr. Av
Waukegan, IL 60085

Business Hour Phone:
847.377.4000

Non-Business Hours Phone:
847.549.5200

In an emergency dial 911