PRINCETON — Bureau County State’s Attorney Geno Caffarini, a Spring Valley Democrat, has announced he will seek re-election for a second term as state’s attorney.
Caffarini was first appointed state’s attorney in February 2015, following the resignation of Patrick Herrmann. He was elected to the office in 2016.
Caffarini had served as assistant state’s attorney in Bureau County from August 1992 to June 2009 under former state’s attorneys Marc Bernabei and Herrmann. Immediately prior to his appointment, he was an associate with the law firm of Anthony Raccuglia in Peru from 2009 to 2015.
Caffarini stated that if re-elected to a second term, he will continue to place major emphasis on the prosecution of violent crimes and drug offenses. Caffarini said his office has made a conscientious effort in combating the opioid crisis.
Since 2015, the state’s attorney’s office has worked with Tri-County Drug Enforcement Narcotic Team and the Illinois State Police to apprehend and prosecute interstate drug traffickers. Through this collaborative effort, the state’s attorney’s office has obtained prison sentences for 29 interstate drug traffickers and collected $1.5 million in fines and court costs and $3.8 million in drug asset forfeitures. The money obtained from fines is used for the daily operations of county and state government.
The drug asset money forfeitures are distributed to the arresting agency to help finance local drug investigations.
“We have to attack the drug problem from all angles, and this includes taking the ill-gotten gains from drug couriers,” Caffarini said.
The revenue Tri-DENT receives from these cash forfeitures is used to fund the agency’s undercover narcotics investigations, which helps in apprehending local drug dealers in not only Bureau County, but La Salle and Putnam counties as well. This has resulted in prison sentences for 51 local drug dealers and offenders in Bureau County alone.
Caffarini said the prosecution of burglary, theft, vandalism, child abuse, domestic violence and DUI will remain top priorities. It has been his philosophy to use a common-sense approach that evaluates each case on its individual merits to obtain justice.
In addition, Caffarini’s office, since 2015, has collected more than $314,025 in restitution for crime victims and $174,000 in bail forfeitures from defendants who have failed to appear in court.
Caffarini added he is grateful to have an office of experienced assistant state’s attorneys. His staff includes First Assistant State’s Attorney Tom Briddick, Assistant State’s Attorneys Dan Anderson and Donna Engels, office manager and paralegal Rachel Starkey, administrative assistant Donna Monier and Victim/Witness Coordinator Kathy Snow.