Indiana police agencies busy in mass drug enforcement campaigns

Although Operation Blue Thunder might sound like a promising summer adventure movie, it actually signified something quite different last month in Indiana.

Ditto Operation First Step.

Those dual designations applied to massive drug enforcement campaigns in different parts of the state, respectively. A summary recap of the initiatives immediately follows.

As for First Step, a recent media report termed the operation the “largest drug sweep in history” carried out in Indiana’s biggest city, with a reported 150-plus enforcement officials making multiple drug busts in Indianapolis.

By all indications, Blue Thunder was every bit as big, if not an even larger initiative. The operation was carried out from June 22-24 on U.S. Route 31 in the north central part of the state by officials from eight police agencies. A reported 64 individuals were arrested on various drug-related charges. Police officials say that a high number of traffic stops over the period netted drugs ranging from cocaine, LSD and heroin to methamphetamine, psilocybin mushrooms and marijuana.

An ancillary result of the campaign was the issuance of a high number of traffic tickets and written warnings.

The sweeps evidenced without doubt law enforcement’s broad sweep and plenary resources.

They also cast a strong spotlight on the heightened susceptibility of many motorists to come face to face with a police officer and drug-sniffing dog when state officials opt to conduct operations using military-like patrol tactics that concentrate a huge amount of police power within a small area.

The criminal justice system commands awesome might, both in its ability to uncover alleged criminal activity and to prosecute it.

Such power can easily overwhelm a criminal suspect, who in every case has the need — and the right — to legal representation geared toward the protection of constitutional rights and the assurance that a criminal charge must be proved beyond a reasonable doubt to establish guilt.

A proven Indiana criminal defense attorney can answer questions and bring aggressive and knowledgeable advocacy to bear on behalf of any individual involved in a criminal investigation.