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By Mike Sandrolini
February 21, 2017
Earlier this month, the Maywood Police Department conducted a raid in an apartment at the corner of 5th Avenue and Quincy Street in which a handgun, drugs and around $9,000 was confiscated.
The department’s tactical unit, which obtained a warrant and conducted the raid on Monday, Feb. 6, also arrested Sherman Lloyd, 28, of Maywood. It’s not yet known what charges Lloyd is facing.
“It (the raid) came together quickly,” said Police Chief Val Talley. “The citizens of Maywood have complained about a lot of drug trafficking in town for many years, and we’ve tried to address this as best we could.”
A major component of reducing drug trafficking has been through the tactical unit, which has been averaging three to five warrants per month.
“When officers get a warrant, they have conducted surveillance of a property or have lead information from a resident or individual who happened to see some type of illegal activity and wanted to tell police,” Talley explained. “As we get tips and information, we try to go after it.”
The drugs recovered in this raid included 20 grams of raw cocaine, six grams of raw heroin, 50 grams of Ecstasy and 100 grams of cannabis. The handgun was believed to have been stolen.
When the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Task Force was initially created, it operated during the summer months, but Talley said the task force went year-round in 2016 after the village experienced xx homicides in 2015.
“The idea behind it (tactical unit) is to reduce narcotic and gang related offenses,” Talley said.
FEB. 6 SHOOTING
On the same day as the raid, police reported a shooting that occurred at around 3:11 p.m. in the 300 block of S. 5th Ave. near the Maywood Post Office.
George Bush, 24 years old (residence not known), was shot in the right leg and taken to West Lake Hospital.
Talley said the victim was walking in the area and was caught between two unknown vehicles whose occupants were shooting at each other.
He said there’s “no doubt in my mind” that the incident in which Bush was caught in the crossfire was gang-related.
FEB. 4 HOMICIDE
Police said that early in the morning of Saturday, Feb. 4, Bellwood resident Gregory Blackwell, 28, was fatally shot in the 1700 block of S. 3rd Ave.
Police said they believe Blackwell, who was a manager of a Burger King restaurant on Roosevelt Road, had an altercation after work with someone at a gas station in the area prior to the shooting. Blackwell was shot multiple times and taken to Loyola University Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.
“Right now don’t have any motive or suspects,” Talley said. “We just have a working theory and officers are assigned to it (the Blackwell shooting).”
This marks the third homicide in Maywood since the beginning of the new year (four total shootings overall). There were five homicides during all of 2016.
Talley said the warmer-than-usual winter could be a factor regarding the number of homicides so far this year.
“It’s real frustrating,” he said.
However, he noted that overall crime in Maywood is down 25 percent since he took over as chief in 2013, and that he and the entire police force will remain vigilant. Talley added that he has been given authorization by the village to hire more officers. Three officers are pending hiring, with one of those new officers starting on March 27.
“We’re going to do the best we can,” he said. “I have an excellent group of officers and I know they’re going to give their all to make sure citizens remain safe. Our officers are doing a phenomenal job.”