After Making Historic Drug Busts, Officials Hope to See Violent Crimes Decline

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“We have a violent crime problem here in our city.”
 
Rockford Police Chief Dan O’Shea speaking at a press conference on the largest drug bust in Winnebago County’s history.

On a table nearby sits millions of dollars worth of cocaine, weapons, and cash.

“This really drives a lot of violent crime problems with our gangs selling the drugs,” said Chief O’Shea. “So this represents a huge hit to them.”

But this success goes much farther than just lowering drug use.

“A lot of our shootings are gang members who see each other who are fighting for drug territory,” he said. “So if they don’t have drugs to sell, they’re not going to be out there trying to sell on someone else’s territory, and it’ll reduce the violent crime.”

“That will reduce the amount of drugs in our communities and reduce the criminal activities in our communities as well,” said Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan.

Officials adding that taking drugs off the streets will also help lower deaths from overdoses.

And issuing a warning that they won’t stop.

“It’s a message to all the criminals and the gang members in the city that we will actively pursue you with everybody from the Attorney General and state police, DEA, FBI and Rockford P.D.,” said O’Shea. “We will keep after you.”

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