Mephis, TN – Shelby County Sheriff’s deputies arrested 71 people, including 31 fugitives, during a 24-hour street sweep that ended about a half hour after sunrise Sunday.
The sheriff’s office and 50 federal, state and local law enforcement agencies pulled over cars, climbed on boats on the Mississippi River and served fugitive warrants as part of an "anti-terrorism initiative," called Operation Sudden Impact.
It was the first time that many agencies joined forces for such a large sweep, said Shelby County Sheriff Mark Luttrell, whose office coordinated the operation.
Even though Memphis hasn’t suffered a terrorist attack, the city is using federal grants to fight crime, which might lead to the discovery of a terrorist suspect. Other cities are using federal money with similar programs.
"Our community is considered an international distribution center and is a possible target for terrorists," said Capt. Dale Lane, commander of the Sheriff’s Office Homeland Security Bureau.
The 100 sheriff’s deputies working Saturday night and Sunday morning also recovered 12.2 grams of heroin, 19 syringes and seized $1,795. They issued citations for 202 traffic violations.
Information gathered in the sweep will be reviewed by intelligence officers at the local Homeland Security center. The information will be forwarded to the state’s Homeland Security center in Nashville.
Other agencies that participated in the sweep will release results from their departments today.
Contact Cindy Wolff at 529-2378. To read more stories by this reporter, go to commercialappeal.com, click on Contact Us at the top of the home page and then click on the reporter’s name.
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This article was posted: Friday, April 18, 2008 at 11:03 am