56 arrests made in Lake County undercover investigation into illegal straw purchases: 'Operation Scarecrow'

The Lake County Sheriff's Office is cracking down on gun crimes.

On Wednesday, officials revealed the results of ‘Operation Scarecrow,' which was a four-month undercover investigation into illegal straw purchases of firearms.

"A straw purchase is when someone who can legally purchase a gun does so in order to transfer that gun to someone who is prohibited from purchasing or possessing a firearm," said Sheriff Oscar Martinez Jr.

The investigation lead to 56 arrests and the seizure of dozens of narcotics and weapons.

"I am pleased to announce the conclusion of a 4-month Lake County Sheriff’s Department investigation into illegal activity at gun shows in Indiana.  56 individuals were arrested or detained and face dozens of criminal charges. We located or seized 66 firearms and confiscated more than 18 thousand dollars. This effort is part of a proactive approach I have launched to reduce gun violence by cutting off the supply of illegally trafficked firearms in our area." said Sheriff Martinez.


Police Officers with the Lake County Sheriff's Department Special Operations Division gathered intelligence during three surveillance operations at gun shows that were held at the Lake County Fairgrounds in Crown Point, Indiana, authorities said. 

Operation Scarecrow also focused on aggravated carjackings.