Drug charges have been leveled against a mother and her son from Round Lake Park as part of a continuing investigation targeting local narcotics sales, authorities said.
Alicia Gordon, 36, and Kenyatta D. Triplet, 19, who live together on the 900 block of Morningside Drive, appeared for bond hearings Saturday in Lake County circuit court. Gordon was ordered held in the county jail in lieu of a $25,000 bond, while her son was freed before trial on his personal recognizance.
Round Lake Park Police Chief George Filenko said officers who executed a search warrant at the home Friday seized nearly 2 pounds of marijuana and various prescription narcotics with an approximate street value of $10,000.
Gordon was charged with unlawful possession of cannabis with intent to deliver and unlawful possession of cannabis. Triplet was charged with unlawful possession of a controlled substance.
Filenko said the mother and son are believed to have gang ties.
"A spike in drug sales linked directly to local street gangs should be a concern to our communities," Filenko said. "This trend could lead to violent conflicts that are more prevalent in large metropolitan areas where, historically, rival gangs fight for drug turf."
Illegal drug sales were conducted from the Morningside Drive house and at other locations, according to police. Filenko said the home was targeted as part of the continuing Operation Street Sweep, an effort involving federal and local law-enforcement authorities that began in Round Lake Park and neighboring towns last April.
U.S. Department of Homeland Security and other federal agents assigned to a regional gang-intervention unit have been part of the operation. Filenko said local illicit drug sales and gang activity have been the focus for investigators.
Separately, Filenko said Saturday that a 19-year-old Round Lake Park woman remained in the Lake County jail on drug charges stemming from an apparent overdose Feb. 28. Authorities said officers believed she was dead when they arrived at her home, but Greater Round Lake Area Fire Protection District paramedics used an opiate antidote to revive her.
Filenko said he interviewed the young woman and learned she had mixed heroin and the anti-anxiety prescription drug Xanax. He said officers found needles, heroin spoons and other drug paraphernalia in her home.
"I'm tired of going to these drug overdoses," said Filenko, who also heads the Lake County Major Crime Task Force. "These kids are dying."
Authorities declined to release the woman's name. Filenko said officials at the Lake County jail and court system are trying to arrange help for the woman, whose mother is deceased and father incarcerated.
Heroin deaths in Lake County went from 13 in 2007 to 35 in 2011, according to the coroner's office. Roosevelt University's Illinois Consortium on Drug Policy, in its most recent study from 2010, found metropolitan Chicago ranked among the worst in the nation for heroin use and problems associated with it.