An armed reputed street gang member was seized Wednesday night in Round Lake as part of a continuing special operation, authorities said.
Round Lake Park Police Chief George Filenko said Raul Jimenez, 20, of the 600 block of Capri Court in Round Lake, was charged with three counts of not having a valid Illinois Firearm Owners Identification card and unlawful possession of a weapon by street gang member.
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Jimenez, who Filenko said was targeted in Operation Street Sweep, was held Thursday in the Lake County jail. His bail was set at $50,000 during a hearing in Lake County circuit court; he must post $5,000 to be released.
Operation Street Sweep, which began in Round Lake Park and neighboring towns in April 2012, involves federal and local law enforcement authorities. Local illicit drug sales and gang activity have been the focus for investigators.
Already in possession of a search warrant, authorities placed Jiminez's apartment under surveillance about 8 p.m. Wednesday, Filenko said.
Soon after, officers observed Jiminez enter a vehicle with two occupants, according to authorities. Filenko said the vehicle was stopped at Cedar Lake Road and Washington Street in Round Lake, and the driver was ticketed for improper lane usage.
Filenko said police were given permission to search the vehicle and found Jimenez with a loaded 9 mm semiautomatic handgun. He said officers also seized 51 rounds of ammunition for 9 mm and .380- and .22-caliber weapons.
Neither narcotics nor weapons were found when cops swept Jimenez's apartment, police said.
While Jimenez is in the county jail, police said a manhunt is on for a reported gang member in another Operation Street Sweep case.
Filenko said an arrest warrant was issued Wednesday for Juan C. Alvarez, 23, whose last known address was the 100 block of East Pineview Drive in Round Lake Park. He said charges of possession of a stolen firearm and possession of a defaced firearm are attached to the warrant.
Alvarez is described as Hispanic with black hair and brown eyes, 5 feet, 5 inches tall, and 175 pounds, authorities said. Filenko said Alvarez has an alias of "Smokey."
Investigators have not received help in trying to find Alvarez by talking to fellow gang members and his relatives, police said.
"Of course, they told us they haven't seen him in a couple of months," Filenko said.
Filenko said police confiscated a .38-caliber gun from Alvarez after a search warrant was served at the Pineview Drive home in November, and he was charged with unlawful use of weapon. The chief said the gun didn't have an identifiable serial number on it at the time.
But work by the Northeastern Illinois Regional Crime Laboratory in Vernon Hills uncovered the serial number, Filenko said. He said investigators used it to confirm the gun was stolen from Arkansas.
Filenko said he expects a formal announcement soon on a Lake County regional gang task force that'll supplement Operation Street Sweep. Lake County State's Attorney Mike Nerheim has said concerns over Mexican drug cartels' growing connections to suburban heroin and marijuana sales are driving creation of the task force.