EDWARDSVILLE - Nick Novacich, commander of the Madison County Cross-River Crime Task Force, reported late Tuesday, March 12, 2024, that the most recent deployment of the Crime Task Force resulted in seizures of heroin, fentanyl, methamphetamine and a modified AR-15, along with the arrest of multiple suspects on felony charges.

He said the Task Force conducted a deployment on Friday night, March 8, 2024, in the western portion of the county, primarily on Illinois 143 and Illinois 3, spanning from the Clark Bridge to the McKinley Bridge.

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“This latest deployment demonstrates our continued commitment to ensuring the safety and security of our communities,” Novacich said. “Through strategic operations and collaboration, we aim to disrupt criminal activities and address threats to public well-being.”

Noteworthy results of the deployment include:

• Traffic stop resulting in discovery of an AR-15, modified to be concealable and with a fully-loaded, extended magazine containing full-metal jacket rounds. This stop also resulted in the discovery of approximately 200 buttons of suspected heroin/fentanyl (14 grams of suspected heroin and 12 grams of suspected fentanyl). Two suspects were arrested as a result of this traffic stop, on charges that include Unlawful Possession of a Controlled Substance with Intent To Deliver and Armed Violence.

• A vehicle pursuit resulted in the arrest of one individual on charges of Aggravated Fleeing and Unlawful Use of Weapon, and a second individual on a charge of Aggravated Unlawful Use of Weapon. A .45-caliber handgun was seized during this arrest.

• A second vehicle pursuit that resulted in the arrest of one individual on a charge of Aggravated Fleeing.

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• Traffic stop resulting in the arrest of an individual on a charge of Unlawful Possession of Methamphetamine (100-500 grams) With Intent To Deliver. Approximately 204 grams of suspected crystal methamphetamine were seized during this arrest.

• Traffic stop resulting in the arrest of an individual on a charge of Aggravated Unlawful Use of Weapon. A .22-caliber handgun was seized during this arrest.

• Traffic stop resulting in the arrest of an individual on an outstanding warrant for probation violation.

The Cross-River Crime Task Force, comprised of officers from police agencies across the county, uses real-time data from Automated License Plate Readers in conjunction with saturation patrols to stem the flow of crime into Madison County from across the Mississippi River. During this deployment, officers conducted 35 traffic stops and two pedestrian stops.

Madison County Sheriff Jeff Connor said: “The hard work of this Task Force benefits the entire county, helping to keep all of our neighborhoods safe. It’s a collaborative, highly visible effort that uses cutting-edge tools to both prevent crime and fight crime. I’m proud of the contribution made to this Task Force by our deputies.”

Madison County State’s Attorney Tom Haine commended the officers who serve on the Task Force.

“The tireless efforts and unwavering dedication of these officers are the driving force behind the success of these operations,” Haine said. “These significant seizures and arrests underscore the importance of the Cross-River Crime Task Force’s proactive approach in taking weapons out of the hands of law-breakers and removing dangerous substances from our streets. We remain steadfast in our commitment to prosecuting those who threaten the safety of our communities.”

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