CHICAGO (WLS) —

U.S. Secret Service agents backed up by local police are raiding liquor stores in Northwest Indiana and metro Chicago in an apparent effort to shut down a “bootleggers’ highway” that cheats Illinois out of millions of tax dollars.

Federal agents and sheriff’s deputies descended on numerous stores Friday morning and were still at several locations hours later carting out case after case of alcohol products.

The raid was related to a “bootleggers’ highway” out of Indiana aimed at evading Illinois’ higher liquor taxes, law enforcement sources told the ABC7 I-Team. A spokesperson for the Illinois Attorney General declined to provide details and said only that there was an ongoing investigation.

Liquor stores were being raided in Highland, Indiana, and in several Chicago suburbs including Blue Island and South Chicago Heights. Customers streaming to United Liquors in Blue Island to make Friday afternoon purchases walked away disappointed after closed signs were posted on the front door…