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The Lake County Sheriff’s Office Special Investigations Group (SIG), a High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) funded task force, continued its record setting trend in 2021, seizing nearly $5 million worth of illegal drugs in Lake County. Additionally, last year SIG seized 54 illegally possessed firearms, dismantled a Lake County street gang, and proactively prevented bloodshed by stopping two drive-by shootings that had been ordered by a gang.
In 2021, the Sheriff’s Special Investigations Group seizures included:
• Nearly 70 pounds of powder cocaine
• Over 11 pounds of methamphetamine
• Over three pounds of heroin
• Nearly eight pounds of ketamine
• Over five pounds of illegally trafficked cannabis
• Hundreds of grams of crack cocaine, ecstasy, and fentanyl
In addition to drug trafficking enforcement, SIG places a major emphasis on human trafficking. SIG conducts investigations and arrests individuals who deceitfully lure unsuspecting victims into forced servitude. SIG is a partner in the Lake County Human Trafficking Task Force and members of SIG work with community partners to educate them on the warning signs and how to report suspected human trafficking.
Beyond just enforcement, SIG offers presentations to school educators, students, community organizations, and neighborhood groups to keep the community closely informed of drug trends, warning signs, and resources available.
SIG is the only HIDTA funded group in Lake County. With this funding, they are able to allocate substantial resources toward drug trafficking organizations, money laundering organizations, and criminal enterprises.
Sheriff John D. Idleburg said, “As your Sheriff, my number one priority is to do everything in my power to keep our community safe. I firmly believe our expanding of SIG over the past few years created a robust and proactive enforcement group, where we can focus on violence, drug trafficking, and human trafficking. This has undoubtedly saved lives from being lost to violence and drug overdose. In the years to come, we will continue expanding SIG and our other task force groups, which are all essential in reducing crime and helping the community.”
Participating Lake County Sheriff’s Office Special Investigations Group agencies are:
Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)
Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI)
Homeland Security Investigations (HSI)
Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (ATF)
Lake County Sheriff’s Office
Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office
North Chicago Police Department
Park City Police Department
Round Lake Beach Police Department
Wauconda Police Department
Waukegan Police Department
Winthrop Harbor Police Department
Zion Police Department