BELLEVILLE — Authorities say dozens of people face drug or weapons charges as part of a crackdown in various southwestern Illinois towns a prosecutor says are "in a state of lawlessness."
St. Clair County State's Attorney Brendan Kelly says most of the more than 50 people charged are from East St. Louis, Washington Park, Alorton and Cahokia.
Authorities say the charges resulting from the three-month investigation overseen by Illinois State Police range from conspiracy counts to drug delivery, having illegal guns and the use of armed violence.
Kelly says the communities where the alleged offenses took place don't have enough policing, and that laws simply aren't being enforced.
The investigation was funded by a federal grant.