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.
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.
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.