EAST ST. LOUIS – The Illinois State Police (ISP) conducted Operation Silent Night on December 7-9, 2023, in St. Clair and Madison counties, focusing its efforts on East St. Louis and neighboring Metro East communities. The operation utilized intelligence and technology to target known high crime areas, organized violent offenders, and structured criminal groups in the communities of the Metro East.

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More than 30 officers from around the state, including Troops 2, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, the South Fatal Four Team, the ISP Division of Criminal Investigation Zone 6 Public Safety Enforcement Group, and ISP Air Operations, joined forces with the ISP Special Operation Group South Statewide Anti-Violence Enforcement Unit for the multi-day operation. The Firearms Investigations Unit and Metropolitan Enforcement Group of Southwestern Illinois provided additional support during the operational period.

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There were several notable events and arrests during the detail:

On December 7, 2023, at approximately 6:33 p.m., officers in the area of 19th Street and St. Clair Avenue in East St. Louis observed a vehicle with an Illinois Vehicle Code (IVC) violation and conducted a traffic stop. Noticeable smoke emitted through the vehicle’s window while the driver spoke with the troopers. A search of the vehicle revealed more than 120 grams of suspected illegal cannabis, as well as other drug-related evidence. The driver was charged with Possession of Cannabis with Intent to Distribute and IVC violations.

On December 9, 2023, at approximately 5:53 p.m., an officer patrolling in the Washington Park area conducted a traffic stop, but the vehicle fled and a pursuit was initiated. With assistance from ISP Air Operations, the vehicle was observed traveling on IL-157 near I-64 in Caseyville and officers again attempted to stop the vehicle. The suspect’s vehicle intentionally rammed an ISP squad car and continued fleeing into East St. Louis. The driver of the suspect vehicle eventually lost control and crashed into an abandoned house. The suspect was taken into custody and charged with Aggravated Fleeing to Elude, Aggravated Battery to a Police Officer, and cited for multiple IVC violations.

On December 10, 2023 at approximately 5:21 p.m., officers observed a vehicle with multiple IVC violations in the area of 37th Street near Bunkum Road in Washington Park and conducted a traffic stop. After speaking with the driver, officers determined the driver did not possess a valid driver’s license. A search of the vehicle resulted in the discovery of a loaded handgun in a hidden compartment. The driver was charged with Aggravated Unlawful Use of a Weapon.

ISP will continue to use all available resources, including air operations, forensic services, investigators, increase patrols, and information sharing to combat violent crime.

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