More than 200 arrested, $64K seized as massive drug sweeps continue in Indianapolis in effort to cut crime

INDIANAPOLIS—Multiple law enforcement agencies continued their sweeps across the Indianapolis metro area Thursday as part of their ongoing effort to reduce crime in violent neighborhoods.

CBS4 was with undercover officers today, as police agencies continued sweeps across the Indianapolis metro area looking for suspects of drug offenses.

Officers served warrants connected to a meth investigation at a residence on the southwest side of Indianapolis Thursday afternoon.  A short time after, another location in the Mars Hill neighborhood of southwest Indy was searched.

Neighbors in the Mars Hill community said the drug problems were getting out of control, with users passing out in their front yards.

"Our kids find needles at the bus stop, so we have to have parents policing the bus stop basically, to make sure our kids aren’t going to get hurt just waiting for the bus, getting stuck, finding pills on the street," neighbor Tina Graham said.

Police arrested six men at the home in Mars Hill. Three of them were found inside and three others were found trying to leave the house. Police believe the men were selling both heroin and meth.

The latest sweeps are connected to sweeps earlier this week on the east side, as seen exclusively on CBS4.

Multiple law enforcement agencies conducted a massive sweep at nearly a dozen locations on Tuesday night. Authorities focused on an area running from 21st Street to 46th Street and Franklin Road to German Church Road.

4 Fast Facts:

  1. IMPD says these are targeted raids and are conducted in areas with high concentration of poverty and high concentration of mental health issues.
  2. Police Chief Troy Riggs called the results so far of the week-long raid "remarkable." 
  3. Authorities stress the sweeps go beyond arresting people. They want to provide resources and give aid to those who need it. 
  4. IMPD says most of the tips they receive reporting criminal behavior are from people who live in these targeted communities and who want to see change.

Officers from the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, Indiana State Police, Marion County Sheriff's Office and the Lawrence Police Department could be seen pulling over dozens of drivers. Some drivers were placed in handcuffs. Officers also performed searches on several vehicles.

IMPD said the searches earlier in the week were part of the department’s high visibility enforcement effort. IMPD East District Commander Roger Spurgeon said the high visibility effort between multiple agencies is nothing new. He stated the traffic stops can help curb other crimes.

CBS4 obtained a police report today from a raid conducted at a northwest side nightclub last Saturday. The raid over the weekend was connected to the massive sweep efforts on the east side Wednesday, authorities told CBS4. According to the report, officers were serving a narcotics search warrant at the business in the 5100 block of Pike Plaza Road.

Investigators tell CBS4 undercover officers were able to buy drugs at the business over the course of several months. Along with the confirmed drug activity, police got tips that possible prostitution and human trafficking was going on inside the business.

The raid resulted in 24 arrests on narcotic charges with the assistance of the DEA and ATF. Many of those arrested worked at the club and the others were patrons, police said. Customers with active warrants were detained.

In Thursday's update, IMPD Chief Troy Riggs described the results of the week-long sweep as "remarkable." As of 8:30 p.m. Thursday, authorities arrested 227 people. Officers also seized:

  • $64,333
  • 30 firearms
  • 359 grams of methamphetamine
  • 9,056.5 grams of cocaine
  • 2,566.1 grams of heroin
  • 9,472 grams of marijuana
  • 9 vehicles

IMPD said the sweeps were in targeted areas that had violent crime, high poverty rates and high concentration of mental illness. They stated the sweeps went beyond just arresting people. Officers provided resources to those who needed help living in these targeted areas.

Both Riggs and Mayor Joe Hogsett have made it clear that cutting crime in Indianapolis will require an approach that looks below the surface.

IMPD stressed the sweeps were "the new normal" and part of their ongoing effort for community outreach and helping those in need.

Watch IMPD's latest update below:

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