Southwestern Illinois special agent earns honor for taking on meth crisis
Special Agent William Blackburn has earned the title of "Officer of the Year" from the Illinois State Police (ISP) for his efforts at combating methamphetamine, the agency announced recently.
As a member of Southwestern Illinois' Zone 7 Methamphetamine Response Team (MRT), Blackburn executed 70 criminal arrests after opening 50 cases in 2015 alone, and has raided 78 labs, bringing in 18,128.4 grams of meth, the ISP said in a statement.
Blackburn was honored at an awards ceremony at Hope Church in Springfield, where he was also saluted for his work with federal officers, including the FBI, on two major cases, including "Operation King Pencil," which ended with one perpetrator being sentenced to 156 months in federal prison.
“The men and women of the Illinois State Police are dedicated individuals who are committed to protecting and serving the citizens of Illinois," ISP Director Leo Schmitz said, according to a press release. "Their professionalism and pride for this agency are evident in their actions both on and off-duty.”
Other honorees included Cheryl Miles, the "Telecommunicator of the Year," and Mary Beth Thomas, the "Forensic Scientist of the Year."
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