1.7 MILLION DOLLAR CHECK ARRIVES AT SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT
A traffic stop on I-70 back in 2005 started the process that ended in a $1,762,293.94 check arriving at the Bond County Sheriff’s department September 16 this year. According to Bond County Sheriff Jeff Brown, the July 11, 2005 traffic stop by the I-70 patrol, which had started only a few months earlier, lead to the discovery of 2-4 million dollars worth of jewelry in the vehicle. The occupants were part of a DEA investigation into the Black Gangster Mafia, a national crime syndicate that has its base in the Detroit area. Although no substantial amount of drugs were found in the car, through the DEA investigation, multiple members of the Black Gangster Mafia, including the two stopped on I-70, were convicted and over 19 million dollars in assets were seized including the jewelry found during the I-70 traffic stop.
That jewelry was recently auctioned off in New Orleans through the Federal Marshall’s Department and the DEA. Since the Bond County Sheriff’s Department was the local department that seized the ill-gotten jewelry, the department was due 75 percent of the amount the jewelry sold for at auction, hence the 1.7 million plus check to the department.
There are specific guidelines about what money from seized assets may and may not be used for. By federal regulations, it may not be used for existing employees’ salaries and expenses. It may be used for equipment. With the aging fleet of squad cars, it was decided to replace four vehicles using this money. Two new squad cars have already arrived at the sheriff’s department and two more are on the way. It’s possible that a fifth car may be purchased. According to the sheriff, all the money must be used within three years. Interest earned by the money also must be used within that time frame and under the same federal regulations. Although the new squad cars will be the first use of the money, it will not be the last and the windfall will likely lead to other equipment, physical, and training improvements in the future.
FOURTH STREET UPDATE
Fourth Street in Greenville is likely to re-open soon. According to City Manager Dave Willey, they should be doing the final resurfacing this week. The road will need to be striped and should re-open by October 15. All schedules are subject to the weather.
RESULTS OF ROADSIDE SAFETY CHECK IN SEPTEMBER
District 11 Illinois State Police Officers conducted a roadside safety check during the late evening hours Saturday, September 25 and the early morning hours Sunday, September 26 on State Street, under Interstate 255, in East St. Louis. According to the report, seven citations were issued for registration offenses, eighteen for driver’s license violations, sixteen for failure to use seat belts, and there were nine arrests for alcohol and drugs.