Illinois State Police confiscated almost 3,000 pounds of drugs from roadways in 2017 — more than 1.25 tons.
That’s about the weight of a black rhinoceros.
From 13 highway patrol operations in 2017, State Police confiscated:
▪ 2,410 pounds of marijuana
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▪ 244 pounds of cocaine
▪ 101 pounds of heroin
▪ 39 pounds of methamphetamine
Along with that, police issued 2,205 written warnings, 80 citations and arrested 145 people. They removed 11 illegal weapons, performed 58 motorist assists and inspected 364 motor carriers. The criminal patrols provide extra troopers to monitor the roads.
“These initiatives are designed to provide extra patrol coverage on our roadways to ensure safe travels for the motoring public,” said ISP Director Leo Schmitz. “Troopers remain vigilant for suspicious activities during their contacts with motorists and should be commended for the arrests of those involved in criminal activities while traveling Illinois roadways.”
Chicago is a major hub for drug trafficking because of its interconnected highways, according to the 2017 Illinois Drug Threat Assessment report. Southern Illinois is also a prime target for trafficking, especially for Mexican drug cartels, according to the Drug Enforcement Agency.
But most of these drug arrests probably came from Northern Illinois and Cook County. In 2015, 80 percent of drug arrests in the state came from Cook County, according to the 2017 Illinois Drug Threat Assessment report. Only 10 percent came from Southern Illinois.