June 5, 2024

For Immediate Release:

Mary Cole Announces Plans for Drug-Induced Homicide Task Force

Task Force Focus: Investigating & Prosecuting Dealers of Deadly Fentanyl, Other Synthetic, and Illegal Opioids


Lake County, IL - With a massive inflow of deadly fentanyl and other synthetic opioids into the suburban Chicagoland Area, Lake County State’s Attorney candidate Mary Cole said when elected as Lake County State’s Attorney, she would form a new drug-induced homicide task force in partnership with police agencies and the Lake County Coroner’s Office to prosecute those who distribute deadly opioids.

Mary Cole said, “The fentanyl and other synthetic opioids found in Lake County are endangering the lives of all residents, but most notably, it is a direct threat to Lake County’s youngest residents who are most likely to experiment with illicit substances. It is time that we form holistic systems to protect our communities.”

Lake County is scheduled to receive $3.9 million from settlements with opioid manufacturers and distributors. Cole proposes setting up and directing a task force within the Lake County’s State’s Attorney’s Office. The task force would be comprised of State’s Attorney Office leaders, staff, and local law enforcement agencies throughout Lake County, including the Lake County Metropolitan Enforcement Group, the Lake County Special Investigations Group (SIG), the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), and leadership from the Lake County Coroner’s Office.

Cole said, “We need a new state’s attorney to start charging criminals who sell poison to our youth and the wherewithal to finish that prosecution instead of letting the criminal off with a slap on the wrist.”

The new Lake County Drug-Induced Homicide Task Force would have several key components.

  1. New Investigation Procedures
    1. Setting up protocols for timely responses to overdose scenes
    2. Use of forensic evidence to link deadly drugs to their source dealers
  2. New Prosecution Strategies
    1. Setting up a more robust legal framework for charging suspects with drug-induced homicide
    2. Forming coordination with local police, the Lake County Metropolitan Enforcement Group, the DEA, and the Lake County Coroner’s Office
  3. Community Engagement
    1. Set up a public education campaign regarding the dangers of illicit narcotics
    2. Build a support program for families impacted by drug-induced homicides
  4. Tracking Systems
    1. Track and monitor overdoses and the prosecution outcomes
    2. Analyze data to identify trends and create new ways to push back against drug dealers