Round Lake Park officers received assistance from federal and local law-enforcement agencies in making a dozen arrests in a street gang sweep, the village's police chief said Saturday.
Chief George Filenko said the sweep occurred Thursday night and spread into a couple of towns neighboring Round Lake Park. In addition to the 12 suspected gang members arrested, he said, authorities made many contacts with their associates.
It was the first of several planned operations and a follow-up to recent arrests of high-ranking gang members by federal authorities, Filenko said.
Filenko said he's declining to immediately reveal the identities of those arrested Thursday because of a continuing investigation. He said the charges against the reputed gang members include possession of narcotics, disorderly conduct, possession of drug paraphernalia, and traffic and ordinance violations.
"Our goal is to relentlessly pursue gang activity through a bottom-up approach, identifying, investigating, arresting and prosecuting street-level gang members," Filenko said.
Filenko said a U.S. Department of Homeland Security helicopter and federal agents on the ground assisted suburban police in the gang roundup. He said the federal agents are assigned to a regional gang-intervention unit.
Suburban agencies that helped Round Lake Park include the Lake County Metropolitan Enforcement Group, sheriff's police and a gang task force with officers from Mundelein, Grayslake, Highland Park, Round Lake Beach, the Lake County Forest Preserve District and Greater Metro Auto Theft Task Force.
Other assistance came from the Lake County state's attorney's office gang intelligence unit. Filenko said the unit collected and analyzed local gang data, then distributed it to help officers target specific members.
Sweep:U.S. Department of Homeland Security assisted