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THE SHERIFF’S OFFICE

The Sheriff’s Office is committed to serving and protecting all of Lake County through a department of law enforcement professionals.

LATEST NEWS & HIGHLIGHTS

Lake Villa Man Charged With Child Pornography

In November of 2014 the Lake County Sheriff’s Office Cybercrimes Unit with assistance from cyber investigators of the Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office conducted a child pornography investigation which resulted in the issuance of a search warrant.

On November 18, 2014 the search warrant was executed and Bryan E. Helrigel, 33, of the 24800 Block of W Oak Ave in Lake Villa, was arrested at his residence. Evidence was seized from the residence which included multiple electronic devices capable of storing electronic media. A forensic examination of the media devices revealed he possessed numerous of images and videos identified as child pornography.

Helrigel was charged with four counts of Possession of Child Pornography (Class 2 Felonies).

Helrigel’s jail bond was set at $500,000.00.  He is scheduled to appear in court on December 9, 2014 at 1:30PM.

Lake County Sheriff Steps Up Patrols for Thanksgiving Holiday

Sheriff Mark C. Curran, Jr. is reminding residents to fasten their seat belts and drive sober over the Thanksgiving holiday or run the risk of receiving a ticket.

The Lake County Sheriff’s Office is conducting saturated patrols beginning November 17, 2014 through November 30, 2014 to save more lives by strongly enforcing seat belt and impaired driving laws.

“Whether you’re going across town or across the state this Thanksgiving, please make sure everyone stays safe and is wearing their seat belt. As of January 1, 2012, by law in Illinois, everyone must wear a seat belt no matter what seating position,” said Sheriff Mark C. Curran, Jr. “Our deputies also want everyone to remain safe and protected everyday but especially during the holiday season and therefore we will be ticketing seat belt violators and drivers who are impaired.”

Far too many drivers and passengers still do not buckle up – especially late at night. Remember, wearing your seat belt is your best defense against an impaired driver.

“Our goal is to save more lives, so the Lake County Sheriff’s Office will be out enforcing seat belt laws around the clock,” said Sheriff Mark C. Curran, Jr. “Additional enforcement will take place late at night when belt use is at its lowest and impaired driving is the biggest problem.”

Pinegrove Man Charged with Indecent Solicitation of a Child

On November 14, 2014 a Pingree Grove man was arrested for two counts of Indecent Solicitation of a Child.

On November 14, 2014 Jeremy S. Zoubek, 27, of the 800 block of Emerald Drive in Pingree Grove, contacted who he thought was a 14 year old boy on a mobile social networking application.  The “14 year old boy”, was actually a Detective with the Lake County Sheriff’s Office Cybercrimes Unit. Zoubek requested to meet with who he believed was the 14 year old boy on the same day at approximately 6:00 pm. Zoubek was instead met by Lake County Sheriff’s Office Detectives.

Zoubek was charged with two counts of Indecent Solicitation of a Child (Class 3 Felonies).

Zoubek’s jail bond was set at $100,000.00.  He is scheduled to appear in court on November 26, 2014.

Stolen Auto Offender Apprehended Following Series of Injury Accidents

The following media release is based on preliminary investigation only, it should be noted that further information will become available in the coming days.

On Thursday, November 13, 2014 at approximately 10:50 PM, officers from the Round Lake Police Department spotted a stolen 2009 Ford sedan in the area of Washington Street and Cedar Lake Avenue, in their town. A traffic stop was attempted on the vehicle and offender, 18 year-old Ronald Q. Maas of Ingleside, Illinois. Ronald fled from officers and short pursuit followed. Round Lake Officers eventually terminated their pursuit, requesting that a broadcast be sent out to all Lake County agencies regarding the stolen auto.

At approximately 11:02 PM, officers from the Lake Villa Police Department came across a single vehicle rollover accident involving the offending vehicle on Route 83 in their town.  The offender, Ronald Maas, fled the scene on foot and eventually found another vehicle (a 2002 F350 Ford Pick Up) to steal near the 200 block of Burnett in Lake Villa. Mr. Maas picked up a 15 year-old female friend from the 23000 block of W. Liberty Avenue in Lake Villa during this time.

At approximately 11:15 PM, a Lake County sheriff’s deputy spotted the pair traveling in the area of Petite Lake and Old Petite Lake Roads.  The deputy attempted to stop the vehicle and a short pursuit ensued.The deputy terminated his pursuit. Several other agencies were now aware of the situation and searching for the vehicle.

At approximately 11:31 PM, two sheriff’s deputies, who were positioned at Route 134 and Forest Avenue in Ingleside, saw the vehicle drive north on Forest from Route 134 at a high rate of speed.  The vehicle turned around and drove back south on Forest, towards the two sheriff’s deputies.  Both deputies were able to move their squads to avoid being struck.  One squad was damaged after backing in to a guardrail during the action. The offending vehicle turned eastbound on Route 134, striking another pick-up truck head-on. The offender put the vehicle in reverse, and accelerated towards one of the sheriff’s deputies, striking the squad car while the deputy was inside of it. The offender then put the vehicle in drive and rammed the victim pick-up truck, before again putting the vehicle in reverse and driving towards the sheriff’s deputies. At this time, a Round Lake Heights officer discharged his duty weapon at the offending vehicle.  The offender was able to drive off and avoid capture.

At approximately 12:25 AM, the Grayslake Police Department located the offending vehicle driving northbound on Route 45 from Route 120. Grayslake officers attempted to stop the vehicle, which then accelerated to speeds of over 80 MPH. The offending vehicle crossed the centerline of Route 45 and struck a 2013 Chevrolet Spark head-on.  The offending vehicle rolled over and Maas fled the scene to an area near the J and B Ranch located on Route 45. The 15 year-old female friend immediately identified Maas as the offender and gave responding officers and deputies a full description.  She sustained non-life threatening injuries in the crash and was transported to Condell Hospital for treatment.  The two passengers of the Chevrolet sustained serious injuries and were transported to Condell Hospital as well.

Immediately following the accident, a manhunt began for the offender, Maas. At approximately 1:20 AM, 911 operators received a call from someone reporting they could hear someone or something “moaning” by their barn (near the J and B Ranch). Two sheriff’s deputies located Maas, who had climbed in to a work truck and was attempting to put the vehicle in drive when deputies moved in. Once placing Maas into custody, it was determined he had sustained a gunshot wound to the cheek area and had substantial bleeding. A broken arm was also noted from the crash. Rescue personnel were immediately summoned to the scene to begin treatment.  Maas has an outstanding felony warrant for Burglary.

This entire incident is now under investigation by the Lake County Major Crimes Task Force and the Major Crash Assistance Team as well as the Lake County Sheriff's Office and several other local law enforcement agencies. 

No charges will be filed until the investigation is reviewed with the Lake County States Attorney’s Office.

Death Investigation

The Lake County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigation Division is conducting an investigation into the death of Cristina Villasana, 21, of Spring Grove. Villasana was admitted to Vista Freestanding Emergency Center in Lindenhurst at approximately 2:00 am on Tuesday, November 11, 2014 then transferred to Vista East Hospital in Waukegan where she was pronounced dead at 7:52 pm.

Lake County Sheriff’s Office investigators were notified by the Round Lake Heights Police Department at 6:15 pm on November 11, 2014 and immediately began interviewing a person believed to be witnesses to the incident. As a result of those interviews it is believed that at around 10:30 pm Monday, November 10, 2014 Villasana ingested a synthetic drug known as “SASS”, a form of MDMA or Ecstasy made from the sassafras plant.

It is believed that false information provided by the persons that drove Villasana to the hospital hampered the initial investigation.

Lake County Sheriff’s Office investigators are working with the Lake County States Attorney’s Office in an effort to identify the person or persons that supplied the “SASS” to Villasana.

Roadside Safety Check and Halloween Patrol Results

Between October 18, 2014-October 31, 2014, the Lake County Sheriff’s Office conducted a Roadside Safety Check and additional saturation patrols.

The Roadside Safety Check was October 25, 2014 during the hours of 11:00 pm-3:00 am in Beach Park.  A total of 61 citations were issued which included:  6 Driving Under the Influence arrests (1 Felony DUI), 4 Driving while License Revoked/Suspended, 8 No Valid Driver’s License, 3 seat belt, 2 child restraint, 22 Operating an Uninsured Vehicle, and 7 Illegal Transportation of Alcohol citations.

Deputies working these details ensured all Illinois Vehicle Code laws were being followed.

The saturated patrols occurred throughout Lake County. A total 116 citations were issued which included: 2 Driving Under the Influence arrests, 31 seat belts violations, 4 child restraint violations, 27 speeding violations, 17 Operating an Uninsured Vehicle violations, 7 Driving while License Revoked/Suspended violations, 4 No Valid Driver’s License violations, and 3 use of electronic device (cell phones) while operating a vehicle citations violations.

The Roadside Safety Check and additional Halloween Patrols were funded through a grant from the United States Department of Transportation, National Highway Administration. The grant is administered by the Illinois Department of Transportation, Division of Traffic Safety.

Lake County Sheriff's Association's 3rd Annual Shop with a Sheriff

Sheriff Mark C. Curran Jr. and the Lake County Sheriff’s Office will be participating in the Lake County Sheriff’s Association 3rd Annual Shop with a Sheriff on December 9, 2014. This program benefits needy children by providing them an opportunity to shop for basic items such as winter coats and Christmas presents with a uniformed Deputy Sheriff, Corrections Officer, Court Security Officer or Reserve Deputy.

The children who participate must be Beach Park or Winthrop Harbor residents and complete an application process. The application process helps identify financial need. The final selections are determined by the social worker for the School District. The Lake County Sheriff’s Office nor the Lake County Sheriff’s Association have any influence in the decision making process on the children selected. The number of children selected will be determined by the total donations received.

This program is completely funded by donations. Each child will have $100.00 limit. Sheriff’s Deputies, Corrections Officers, Court Security Officers and Reserve Deputies will act as chaperones to help the junior shoppers make sound decisions and assist them in keeping track of how much they spend. The children will be encouraged to purchase those items they need most.

The day will begin at 4:00 pm at the North Prairie JuniorHigh School in Winthrop Harbor.  The children will visit with Santa and enjoy pizza and cupcakes prepared by Santa’s helpers. Domino’s Pizza in Zion is donating 10 pizzas. Pepsi Beverages Company in Pleasant Prairie is donating water and Gatorade for the event. The children will then play games and enjoy entertainment while they wait their turn to shop. Between 5:00 pm and 7:00 pm the children will be transported to the Wal-Mart in Zion.

“No child should miss out on the joy of Christmas,” said Sheriff Mark C. Curran Jr. “Shop with the Sheriff is about brightening the season for less fortunate children and allowing our officers to be blessed as ‘it is in giving that we receive.’ Volunteers for this event take underprivileged children shopping for the most basic items including hats, gloves and clothing. This is truly a humbling and enjoyable event.”

Donations for the event should be mailed to Lake County Sheriff’s Association PO Box 42 Gurnee, IL 60031.

Lake County Treasurer Issues Scam Alert Targeting Seniors

The Lake County Treasurer's Office is alerting homeowners to a scam targeting seniors. Seniors are receiving a letter in the mail claiming that the County will take their house if they don't pay the delinquent taxes on their property. In each of the cases we've seen so far, the homeowner is paid in full and NOT delinquent in their taxes. If you receive one of these letters, you do not need to take any action if your taxes have been paid in full. If you have any questions or want to double check the status of your payment, you should call the Treasurer's Office at 847.377.2323 or check on line at www.lakecountyil.gov/treasurer. DO NOT contact the person listed on the letter.

Please share this information with friends and neighbors so that we make sure everyone is alerted to this scam.

Two Charged in Lake Villa Armed Robberies

On November 2, 2014 at approximately 5:30 pm the Lake County Sheriff’s Office responded to a report of an armed robbery at 36735 Route 83 in Lake Villa (Jay’s Liquor Store). The offender was described as a white male displaying a black gun. Antioch Police Department responded and began a K-9 search.; While still on scene, at approximately 6:15 pm, a second armed robbery was reported at 37635 Route 59 in Lake Villa (Lake Villa Pantry). The same offender description was provided and the black gun, which turned out to be a BB gun, was left at the scene. Lake Villa Police Department also responded to both incidents and stopped a suspicious vehicle leaving the Lake Villa Pantry immediately after the report of the second armed robbery. The driver, Christopher M Sparrowgrove, 29, of the 25000 Block of W Carson Dr in Lake Villa, and his girlfriend, Jasmine R Stevenson, 22, of same address, were transported to the Lake County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Division. Lake County Sheriff’s Office detectives obtained confessions on both robberies and a third armed robbery which occurred on October 27, 2014 at approximately 6:45 pm at the Lake Villa Pantry.  During that armed robbery it was reported that a male white with a black gun took approximately $700.00.

Sparrowgrove was charged with two counts of attempted armed robbery, aggravated armed robbery, armed robbery, and theft over $300.00. Sparrowgrove’s jail bond was set at $250,000.00.  He is scheduled to appear in court today.

Stevenson was charged with theft over $300.00. Her jail bond was set at $75,000.00. She is scheduled to appear in court today. The additional resources provided by the Antioch and Lake Villa Police Departments assisted in the quick arrest of these suspects.

Lake County Sheriff's Office Collects Toys For Tots This Holiday Season

The Lake County Sheriff’s Office is partnering with the United States Marine Corp and several local law enforcement agencies to collect toys for this holiday seasons Toys for Tots campaign. Beginning November 1, 2014 and ending December 21, 2014 new, unwrapped toys can be dropped off at several locations. We are now reaching out to you, our community to join us in bringing in new, unwrapped toys (in original sealed package) to one of our drop off locations. (No stuffed animals please due to dust/allergy concerns).

Drop off locations:

Lake County Government Building, 18 N County Street, Waukegan

Lake County Sheriff’s Office, 25 S Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue in Waukegan or 1301 N Milwaukee Avenue in Libertyville

Twenty-One Captured in Federal and Local Investigation Operation "Shut Down the Hustle"

Lake County State's Attorney Michael G. Nerheim announced that a multi-agency investigation by an FBI-led task force, the DEA, the Lake County Metropolitan Enforcement Group, Lake County Sheriff's Office, Waukegan Police Department, Zion Police Department, North Chicago Police Department, Mundelein Police Department and the Lake County State Attorney's Office has resulted in charges under the Illinois Street Gang and Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO Act) against twenty-one alleged members and associates of the 4 Corner Hustlers street gang.

The charges are set forth in criminal complaints filed under seal in the Lake County State's Attorney's Office- the complaints were unsealed thisweek. Additionally,the complaints charge the following individuals: Gregory Harris Sr. also known as "Chili-G", 42, Tyrone Springs,47, Harlin Barnes, also known as "H.B." and "Cool Kid 40",33, James Allard also known as "Jimmy",41, Demetrius Spencer,49, Ryan Hawkins also known as "Big-Lo",33, Fabian Golden, also known as "Golden Child",31, Jill Dotson, 61, Brittany Pickens, 28,Shaleshea Keller,39, Anthony Glover also known as "Tully",29, Nigel Patrick also known as "Jilla", 43,Gregory Harris Jr. also known as "Lil Greggo",20, Jason Anaya-Whitaker also known as "D.J. Gold",36, Desmond Washington, 42, Clifton Johnsonalso known as "Dot",21, Luis Melendez also known as "Speedy",33, Kenneth Fitzhugh,22, Seneca Davis,28, Garland Bone, also known as "Killa Krame", 33, and Derek Gordon, 35.

The charges announced today are the result of the investigation into the distributionand selling of cocaine, heroin, prescription pills, as well as purchased and transferredfirearms across Lake County. Several of the defendants are also suspected of being involved in violent crimes in the area. According to the criminalcomplaint, the leader of the ring is Gregory Harris Sr. He allegedly supervised and organized the sale and distribution of the aforementioned narcotics and firearms. The complaint set forth a number of drug and firearm transactions carried out by the defendants over the course of the investigation.

The investigation, which began in January 2014, is part of an ongoing and coordinated effort by local, state and federal authorities as part of the federal government's Safe Streets Program to identify and dismantle the many highly organized drug trafficking gang organizations operating in and around the Lake Countyarea. This operation employed sophisticated investigative techniques.During the course of operation "Shut Down the Hustle", large quantities of cocaine, heroin, prescription pills, and cannabis were seized. A number of firearms were recovered.

Illinois Street Gang and Racketeer Influenced and CorruptOrganizations Act (RICO Act) passed in 2012. It is a state law that allows the prosecution of organized crime in a broader sense. It also allows law enforcement to charge a criminal organization, group and/or gang based on involved illegal activities.

All of the individuals were arrested without incident in and around Lake County on the morning of Thursday, October 30, 2014. Coordinated efforts between several investigators, detectives and police officers led to the successful arrests of these defendants.  The defendants appeared in bond court yesterday before the honorable Judge Christen Bishop. Bonds were set as follows:

Gregory Harris Sr. $10 million, bond he is scheduled to appear in court on 11/20/2014

James Allard $10 million bond, he is scheduled to appear in court on 11/20/2014

Brittany Pickens $1 million bond, she is scheduled to appear in court on 11/20/2014

Tyrone Springs $1 million bond, he is scheduled to appear in court on 11/20/2014

Jill Dotson $1 million bond, she is scheduled to appear in court on 11/20/2014

Harlin Barnes $1 million bond, he is scheduled to appear in court on 11/04/2014

Gregory Harris Jr. $750K bond, currently in custody of the Illinois Department of Corrections

Anthony Glover $750K bond, he is scheduled to appear in court on 11/20/2014

Desmond Washington $750K bond, he is scheduled to appear in court on 11/20/2014

Nigel Patrick $500K bond, he is scheduled to appear in court on 11/03/2014

Kenneth Fitzhugh $500K bond, currently in custody of the Lake County Jail

Garland Bone $500K bond, currently in the custody of the Lake County Jail

Demetrius Spencer $500K bond, currently in the custody of the Lake County Jail

Ryan Hawkins $500K bond, currently in the custody of the Lake County Jail

Fabian Golden $500K bond, he is scheduled to appear in court on 11/04/2014

Jason Anaya-Whitaker $250K bond, he is scheduled to appear in court on 11/20/2014

Derek Gordon $250K bond, he is currently in the custody of the Lake County Jail

Clifton Johnson $250K bond, he is currently in the custody of the Lake County Jail

Shaleshea Keller $250K bond, she is scheduled to appear in court on 11/03/2014

Seneca Davis $100K bond, he is currently in the custody of the Lake County Jail

Luis Melendez $100K bond, he is scheduled to appear in court on 11/20/2014

If convicted, sentences for the defendants range from seven to thirty years or 25 years to natural life in the Illinois Department of Corrections.

This case signifies a commitment to our new approach at tackling gangs, guns and drugs.  The RICO statute allows us to build a case against an entire organization, rather than one individual at a time.  These cases are long, labor intensive, and cannot be done without the cooperation of several agencies, but they allow us to dismantle anentire organization at a time," said State's Attorney Nerheim.  "We will continue to aggressively seek out and prosecute those that bring drugs and violence into our community.  This is the first RICO case in Lake County's history and anybody involved in street gang activity should know that it will not be the last," he added.

Lake County State's Attorney Nerheim thanks all of the law enforcement entities involved with this ten-month investigation. The dedication and commitment of  law enforcement officials is greatly appreciated. In addition, State's Attorney Nerheim greatly appreciates the collaboration from the Cook County State's Attorney's Office on their assistance in the preparation of this RICO case.




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Sheriff's Office

Sheriff Mark C. Curran Jr.
Sheriff Mark C. Curran Jr.

Undersheriff Raymond Rose
Undersheriff Raymond Rose

Lake County Sheriff's Office
25 S. Martin Luther King Jr. Av
Waukegan, IL 60085

Business Hour Phone:
847.377.4000

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847.549.5200

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