ISP combats heroin trafficking on Illinois roads

ISP combats heroin trafficking on Illinois roads
Heroin bust (Source: Illinois State Police)
Heroin bust (Source: Illinois State Police)

CHICAGO, IL (KFVS) - The Illinois State Police (ISP) Drug Enforcement Group has announced the results of "Operation Heroin Highway."

This was an undercover drug enforcement effort made with the Illinois State Police, Chicago Police and the Du Page Metropolitan Enforcement Group (DUMEG).

Operation Heroin Highway was launched to address the exploding epidemic of heroin trafficking flowing into and around Illinois.

According to State Police, Illinois is considered a gateway and Interstate 290 is a major drug trafficking route for marijuana, heroin and cocaine.

Beginning Tuesday, April 29, agents were in covert vehicles and witnessed the hand-to-hand transactions. During these transactions, several people participated in the delivery of narcotics. The agents followed the subjects to I-290, where a uniformed ISP trooper was waiting to make the arrest.

"The exploding trafficking and use of heroin throughout Illinois is having a devastating impact on families and communities," said ISP Director Hiram Grau. "It's no longer limited to street narcotics dealing because the market is here and the highways have become dangerous distribution points."

Police concluded the five-hour investigation, with the arrest of seven people. Four of them were charged with drug related offenses.

Operation Heroin Highway was the first undercover heroin drug investigation conducted by ISP DUMEG so far this year.

According to ISP, in 2013, 252 arrests were made by ISP DUMEG, and 53 percent of those arrests were heroin related charges. Heroin arrests increased 15 percent in 2012. In 2013, there was a 319 percent increase in heroin seizures and purchases compared to 2012.

The ISP is in the process of developing its response-training program for officers to deliver antidotes to overdoses of heroin.

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