North Central Indiana – Recently, nine police departments in north-central Indiana teamed up for three days to enforce traffic laws and help stem the flow of illegal narcotics into Hoosier communities.
Officers from the Indiana State Police, the Miami County Sheriff’s Department, the Fulton County Sheriff’s Department, the Cass County Sheriff’s Department, the Tipton County Sheriff’s Department, the Kokomo Police Department, the Logansport Police Department, the North Manchester Police Department, and the Thorntown Police Department utilized marked and unmarked police cars to conduct saturation patrols on U.S. 31 in Miami, Howard, Tipton, and Fulton Counties. Patrol officers were augmented by K-9 officers utilizing narcotic detecting police dogs.
Officers dubbed the unannounced three-day patrol “Operation Blue Heat.” The goal was to enforce traffic laws and catch individuals who utilize Indiana roadways to transport and distribute illegal narcotics. U.S. 31 was chosen because a large volume of motorists use the road to travel through the heart of northern Indiana. Officers wanted to serve notice that as the summer temperatures increase, so will their vigilance in keeping illegal narcotics from reaching Hoosier communities.
From June 21 through June 23, officers teamed up to make 68 criminal arrests on 171 mostly drug-related charges. Twenty-two of the charges were felonies. Officers also issued 86 traffic citations and 297 written warnings. There was also one driving while impaired arrest. During the three days, officers allegedly located cocaine, LSD, methamphetamine, heroin, marijuana, psilocybin mushrooms, edible marijuana food, MDMA, THC oil, ketamine, and prescription medications. They also located drug paraphernalia. The contraband was found during traffic stops made by the various police departments.
“This is the tenth year we have organized a summer driving season kickoff patrol,” stated Indiana State Police Sergeant Andrew Smith, who organized and oversaw the patrol. “Summer is a peak travel time with an increased volume of motorists on Indiana roads. Police officers want to remind drivers to follow all traffic laws for the safety of everyone using Indiana’s roads. The patrol should serve as a warning that police officers will utilize all of the resources at their disposal to catch and arrest the few who transport illegal drugs.”
Citizens are encouraged to call their local law enforcement agencies with information about the possession, distribution, or selling of illegal narcotics. Information can also be reported anonymously by calling the Indiana State Police Drug and Gang Hotline at 1-800-453-4756.
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