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Drug charges reported in connection with state police dragnet

The Louisiana State Police announced an undercover operation called "Operation Summer School" that began on June 20 and ended on Aug. 27. The primary mission of this operation was to detect and combat criminal violence in areas of New Orleans that have been experiencing an increase in violence, the police say. The result, according to the State Police, was 207 non-drug charges and 107 drug charges made on 136 arrests.

The LSP also report seizing 42 illegal weapons, recoveries of 25 stolen vehicles, narcotics worth about $59,000 and 213 citations. There were also a number of other arrests based on referrals to other police agencies. They say that they partnered with the New Orleans Police Department and the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Troopers pointed to a couple of arrests that the agency thought were notable. One involved pulling over a 26-year-old man, searching him and his vehicle, and finding two stolen weapons, various narcotics and other contraband. Although they mention narcotics, the only drug charges apparently brought against the man seem to be for marijuana-related offenses.

Another arrest occurred when troopers stopped a driver on a traffic stop and when they approached the vehicle, its two occupants fled on foot. It was determined that the vehicle was stolen. The police quickly apprehended the pair and charged them with unlawful use of a motor vehicle, aggravated flight from an officer, possession of a stolen firearm and obstructing a highway of commerce.

The premise for the last charge is unclear. The police report that the two individuals are targets in other investigations involving auto thefts and vehicle burglaries. Although the Louisiana State Police reported the purpose of its project was to curb violence in certain sections of the city, it is unclear from initial reports whether that goal was achieved. That assessment will have to wait until the slew of drug charges and other allegations are revealed in detail and put to the test of due process.                                                                                                                                                                                             

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