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Sheriff Candidate Says He'll Tackle 'Evidence Storage Problem'

In 2011, nearly four kilos of heroin were stolen from an evidence storage trailer.

Will County Sheriff candidate Mike Kelly. Credit: File photo
Will County Sheriff candidate Mike Kelly. Credit: File photo
A candidate for Will County Sheriff is making the 2011 theft of heroin from a sheriff's department evidence locker a campaign issue.

In a press release issued Thursday, Democrat Mike Kelley referenced the stolen heroin, worth an estimated $500,000, which disappeared in October 2011 when someone slipped through an open opening in a fence and cut the padlock on a container storing the individually wrapped kilos of heroin. 

The drugs were being stored outside a sheriff's department substation in a fenced lot on Laraway Road in unincorporated Joliet.

Kelley, a detective sergeant with the sheriff's department investigations division, said tackling evidence storage problems would be his first order of business if elected.

“The Will County Sheriff's Department should be a major force in solving the heroin epidemic, not contributing to the crisis,” Kelley said.

In a press release, Kelley said he has a two-part plan to address the issue:
  • Consolidating the storage of evidence into one secure building as opposed to the four separate structures the department currently utilizes. One of those structures is the padlocked trailer from which the heroin was stolen in 2011.
  • Restoring critical training for Sheriff's Department personnel responsible for storing and cataloging evidence to ensure that the highest law enforcement security standards are rigidly followed.  As part of this initiative, Kelley also has begun investigating ways to cross-reference stored evidence to assist in other unresolved crimes.

Kelley said he's already discussed funding for a consolidated, secure evidence storage building with Will County Executive Larry Walsh.

“We have talked about a modest, completely secured structure that would have virtually no impact on the department's budget, but would resolve a major problem within the agency,” Kelley said. 

Kelley is running against fellow Democrats Ed Bradley, a retired sheriff's lieutenant, and Lt. Steve Egan in the March 18 primary. Republican candidates are retired Chief Deputy Nick Ficarello and current Deputy Chief Ken Kaupas.

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