The sweep of the state's capital continues as Operation Falcon facilitates the arrest of dozens of individuals believed to be linked to drug and weapon crimes. Over 70 people have outstanding warrants in Springfield, Illinois, for a variety of alleged drug crime and weapon charges as the operation continues to seek out known criminal elements and those suspected of colluding with them. Local and state police say the crackdown was initiated as a result of a wave of suspected drug-related violence over the last several weeks.
Some 60 individuals have been arrested as of this report, for charges ranging from weapons possession to manufacturing and delivery of a controlled substance. Since March, roughly 26 shots have been reported throughout the city, and police believe there is a connection between the alleged violence and the drug trade as perpetrated by two rival gangs. Police have not yet commented on what property, if any, has been seized, nor on the status of the arrested individuals.
This sting operation was conducted over a two-day span. Police say the primary reason for the rash of arrests is to attempt to gain a better understanding of earlier alleged crimes. It is unknown how many individuals are currently in custody and how many have been released.
The nature of large sting operations of this type is that they are very complicated. Organizing 70 separate arrests is a tall order for the Illinois law enforcement agencies involved in this sting. This means that defense for the individuals accused of a drug crime may benefit from a careful review of the arrest record. If the rights of individuals were violated in any way, certain evidence could be deemed inadmissible, and entire cases might be thrown out.
Source: wics.com, "70 People Charged In Massive Drug, Weapon Crackdown", , May 23, 2014