Illinois crime commission wants anti-heroin task force

June 3, 2013

The Associated Press

File: A police officer displays a stash of heroin to be used with his drug-sniffing dog during a training session.

The Illinois State Crime Commission is calling for a statewide anti-heroin task force.

In a statement Sunday, the commission asked the Illinois attorney general to appoint the task force and give it broad investigative powers.

Three months ago the commission termed Illinois' heroin problem a "medical epidemic." The group says say the drug has now corrupted the legal system in one southwestern Illinois county.

St. Clair County Circuit Judge Michael Cook said last week he was stepping down. The announcement came days after he was charged with federal heroin and gun offenses in a widening courthouse drug scandal.

Jerry Elsner is executive director of the Illinois State Crime Commission. He says heroin is a "virus" that "has the potential to corrupt every facet of our society and must be stopped."