East St. Louis Police

Drug Operation In East St. Louis Nets 58 Charges

Aug 15, 2013
(via Flickr/Michael Velardo)

Officials have charged more than 50 individuals following a three-month long investigation into drug-dealing in East St. Louis.

The operation, called "Wild Wild East," was carried out by Illinois State Police. St. Clair County State's Attorney Brendan Kelly said the defendants are at the middle tier in the drug trade, and were involved in dealing out heroin and cocaine.

58 charges ranged from delivery and armed violence to conspiracy. Kelly said the good news is that the arrests will have a serious impact on the area.

(via Wikimedia Commons/J. Pelkonen)

An East St. Louis police detective is in federal custody today on charges that he and six other men helped distribute more than five kilos of cocaine in St. Clair and Madison counties over the last month.

Orlando Ward, 41, has been with the department for more than a decade. He will remain in jail until a hearing on May 15.

(via Flickr/Indofunk Satish)

Police search for missing boy

Searchers are looking for a 12-year-old St. Louis County boy last seen Sunday night after telling his family he was going to swing on a rope on the Meramec River. A missing person advisory went out early Monday morning for Christopher Marks. He was last seen at about 7:30 p.m. last night in Pacific. Police are assembling this morning at the river with plans to search the water and the heavily-wooded area near it.

Lambert Airport detours end this morning

via Flickr/davidsonscott15

Illinois State Police say they're investigating possible criminal wrongdoing by two East St. Louis officers.

State police Capt. James Morrisey tells the Belleville New-Democrat the probe began Tuesday after the agency fielded a complaint.

Morrisey and East St. Louis Police Chief Michael Floore aren't publicly discussing the allegations.

Floore has placed the officers on administrative leave and has launched an internal investigation.

Floore says the officers are veterans of the force.

(via Flickr/steakpinball)

Updated 3:24 with new headline, information on sentence.

The man who stepped down again as East St. Louis' police chief after admitting he stole video game boxes planted by federal agents has been sentenced to a year in prison.

UPI/Bill Greenblatt

Child abusers could face tougher penalties under Mo. legislation

People who injure or kill a baby by shaking the child could face tougher penalties under legislation moving through the Missouri House. The House has endorsed a measure expanding Missouri's child abuse law to specifically cover causing a baby's death or injury by shaking.

Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin is touting new measures to increase security for public housing residents in East St. Louis. The federally-funded plan includes installing cameras at six high-rise properties and hiring a new security coordinator.

"We're going to be putting up lighting and fencing," Durbin said. "We're going to move forward to try to make sure the almost 4,500 residents of public housing in East St. Louis have a safer place to live."

(via Flickr/davidsonscott15)

Just under two months after being re-named as East St. Louis' police chief, not only has Michael Baxton resigned from his post - he's also pleaded guilty to federal charges of stealing evidence and making false statements to federal investigators.

(via Flickr/davidsonscott15)

The law enforcement officer who resigned has East St. Louis' police chief in 2009 has his old job back.

The Belleville News-Democrat reports Michael Baxton was sworn in Wednesday in the southwestern Illinois city of about 30,000 residents.

It's been a rocky ride for Baxton. He was police chief in nearby Alorton in October when a state board barred him from law enforcement because of a 1982 robbery conviction.

The ongoing process in East St. Louis concerning 16 police officer layoffs has gone back and forth, but the discussion between police union leaders and city officials seems to have made some significant progress.

Happy New Year's Eve! We hope you have a great end of 2010 and beginning of 2011! Here are a few news stories buzzing around the St. Louis Area today. 

  • Anheuser-Busch will renew its sponsorship with Major League Baseball. According to the St. Louis Business Journal, the St. Louis-based brewer and MLB came to an agreement on Thursday to also drop the litigation stemming from the contract dispute. Anheuser-Busch sued the league last month for allegedly breaching a sponsorship contract after MLB reportedly wanted more money and said the deal was non-binding and it could use other beer sponsors. The deal designates Budweiser as official beer sponsor of Major League Baseball and is worth an estimated $10 million.
  • Smoking bans go into effect Sunday in both St. Louis city and St. Louis County. County residents voted last year to approve the ban. The City's Board of Aldermen passed a ban that was contingent on the county's vote. Both health departments will be in charge of enforcement. The county is not expecting enforcement to be a problem. In the county individuals who don't abide by the ban can be fined $50  while business owners could be fined $100 for the first offense and more for subsequent offenses.
  • The newly approved city budget in East St. Louis calls for laying off 34 municipal employees, including 16 police officers. The Belleville News-Democrat reports the East St. Louis City Council unanimously voted Thursday to accept the nearly $62 million budget. Besides laying off the 16 police officers, the new budget also calls for a delay in calling some firefighters back to work, plus laying off four public works employees, one jailer and one full- and one part-time telecommunicator.

  • Funeral arrangements are pending for Max Starkloff, a longtime advocate for the disabled in the St. Louis area. Friends told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that he had recently developed the flu. Starkloff was a quadriplegic since age 21, when he was injured in an automobile accident. He founded Paraquad Inc. and led crusades that convinced St. Louis to install wheelchair temps on sidewalks and lifts on buses.