ELGIN, Ill. (STMW) — Ten parolees living in northwest suburban Elgin found themselves on a bus to Joliet’s Stateville Correctional Center on Friday.
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Another 10 with outstanding arrest warrants — many for failure to appear at court — were sent back to the Kane County Jail by bus for bond hearings the same morning.
All 97 of Elgin’s registered sex offenders were either awakened by a knock at the door or found a door hanger telling them to contact the Elgin police department when they got home.
Four people who had been previously deported were handed over, again, to Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
The arrests and contacts were part of Operation Clean Sweep. In the works since November, Elgin police worked with 250 other law enforcement officials from federal, state, county and local departments to pick up residents here with outstanding warrants, check on parolees and sex offenders, or find those with revoked Firearm Owners Identification cards.
Beginning at 5 a.m. and planned to end at midnight, officials from those departments formed 30 teams of at least five officers each. They arrested those with outstanding arrest warrants. Parolees were asked to give urine samples for drug tests, and those that tested positive were sent back to prison. Registered sex offenders were checked to ensure they were living where they said they were, and following all other rules for their release.
A few guns also were picked up from various locations, said Lt. Jeff Adam, who coordinated the sweep.
Lots of warrants
According to officials, Elgin has about 4,200 outstanding warrants. Last month, police here worked with the Kane County State’s Attorney’s Office to clear 60 misdemeanor warrants when those with warrants were asked to turn themselves in.
This time, the police went to those with warrants, said Chief Jeff Swoboda.
Teams of officers went out with a list that included photos, addresses and other identifying information for those who Elgin police wanted picked up or checked on.
Officer Randy Fries and his team picked up two people before 9:30 a.m. — one with five warrants and another person with just one. They also spent a lot of time knocking on doors, looking in windows, and even searching homes to ensure the person they were looking for was, in fact, not home.
By starting early in the morning, officials said, it gave officers a chance to get people while they were still in bed — and before they had a chance to call friends and give them a heads up that police were out on the street.
When officers did pick up an arrestee, they called out for a squad car to transport the person to the Elgin jail. They were then processed through the jail, where they were either held for the Department of Corrections, sent to Kane County for a special bond call hearing, let go if they could pay their bail, or placed in a hold for immigration to interview.
“We have had a week of arrests through here in one morning. Three hours,” said Lt. Glenn Theriault about the 30 people who had been processed through by noon.
Parolees who would be going back to prison for violating parole came first, he said. For some, however, other counties would probably call about getting their shot at the individual for outstanding warrants, too, he said.
Many of those picked up on warrants were for low-level crimes, Theriault noted. “It runs the gamut,” from traffic offenses such as driving without a license and fleeing a traffic stop to domestic battery and others.
“There are not many violent offenders,” in the bunch, he said, just many career criminals familiar to the Elgin Police Department. “There are people who I have seen many times throughout my career here today,” Theriault said. “We see them over and over, a general nuisance to society.”
Elgin police worked directly with the Illinois Department of Corrections to identify 50 parolees they would check on Friday. Of those, about half were found at home, and 10 of those were found to be in violation of their parole, many for positive drug tests, said Lt. Tamara Welter. The DOC has a no-tolerance policy for those violations, she added.
Those who they checked who came up negative, or if no other violations were found, were released.
One very specific sweep was checking on residents who recently had their firearm owner identification card revoked, Adam said. Those included people revoked for having been arrested and convicted of a felony, as well as at least one person flagged for having mental health issues.
“One person had depression and that is why he was revoked,” Adam said.
A rifle and a handgun, along with ammunition, were seized, officials said.
The sweep was planned for January because it usually is a slower time at the department, Swoboda and Adam said — but they did not know that it would be the coldest temperatures of the season.
That does help, they admitted, keeping some people from attempting to run from police.
— Elgin Courier-News, via the Sun-Times Media Wire