Troopers Focus On Highways, Find Drugs

By: Michel Mason Email
By: Michel Mason Email

State police are stepping up their presence on highways in several counties, leading to dozens of arrests and even taking some drugs off the streets.

It's called the criminal interdiction detail. In January, troopers at the Hazard Post started aggressively targeting specific areas each day.

We found what starts as a traffic stop can lead to much more.

Since taking over as Post Commander in November, Captain Scott Miller says it did not take long to identify the needs of his five-county area. Right away, he saw two deadly crashes resulting in murder and DUI charges.

"I also noticed a large number of overdoses. one right after another. Sometimes two in a day," said Miller.

He then reached out to Commercial Vehicle Enforcement and other special operations units for extra help.

"It's a matter of reaching out to these contacts and resources to follow up on these things," added Miller.

He says the aggressive traffic enforcement often times will lead to much more because most criminals utilize a vehicle to carry out their business.

"If we're out here on this level then we can do what we need to here. Qe can show a presence," said Miller.

"Everyone knows that lives around here that obviously we have a drug problem, and a lot of times when we do traffic stops there will be some indicators that we notice and end up getting drug evidence out of the vehicle," said Trooper Jennifer Sandlin.

Troopers say one stop on Tuesday took more than two ounces of cocaine out of commission. Information received during another, led to two more arrests later in the night. Michael Deaton is charged with trafficking a controlled substance. Stacy Combs was wanted on parole violation.

"I want the community to know that if they call us we're going to do something with it and we're follow through with it and make sure something is getting done," added Miller.

He says the detail serves a dual purpose, by cutting off drug suppliers and making these roads safer places to travel.

Troopers say at least two of these stops result in drug charges each day.

Since January, the detail has led to more than 70 DUI arrests and taken thousands of illegal prescription pills off the streets.

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