Drug bust nets $1.7M worth of meth, heroin, cocaine, Louisiana State Police reports
A cache of drugs with a street value estimated at $1.7 million - including more than 64 pounds of meth - was discovered after a traffic stop in Alexandria,State Policereported Saturday (Jan.28). The arrest of the driver, who already was being investigated, led authorities to illegal narcotics in the car and in several houses, authorities say. State Police identified the driver as Derrick Felton, 37, of Alexandria, and said the arrest culminated a month-long investigation into alleged illegal drug activity. Felton, who was arrested Friday, was booked with possession with intent to distribute the $1.7 million in assorted narcotics. He also was charged with resisting arrest by flight and failure to signal lane change, according to the police report. The arrest led to the discovery of roughly 64 pounds of crystal methamphetamine, two pounds of heroin, two pounds of cocaine, and five pints of promethazine syrup, an antihistamine and narcotic cough suppressant combination, authorities said. Police say they also found more than $67,000 in cash. More arrests are likely in the continuing investigation, according to the State Police report. Several law enforcement agencies were involved in the investigation: The Louisiana State Police, Alexandria Police Department, FBI Central Louisiana Safe Streets Task Force, Louisiana Probation and Parole, United States Postal Inspector's Office, Pineville Police Department, Louisiana Army National Guard Counter Drug Unit, the Rapides Parish District Attorney's Office, and the Grant Parish Sheriff's Office.
Footage captures driver crashing into Louisiana State Police unit
Louisiana State Police released video of a suspected impaired driver as he crashed into a unit Saturday. On Saturday, shortly after noon, Louisiana State Troopers began receiving several emergency calls in reference to a vehicle being driven erratically on Interstate 12 westbound west of Hammond. The callers would ultimately witness the vehicle crash into the rear of a Louisiana State Trooper as the Trooper was attempting to position himself to stop the target vehicle. State Police say Florida resident Kyle Nadler was traveling westbound on Interstate 12 when he witnessed a Dodge truck being driven erratically. Nadler and his wife calmly called 911, provided authorities with a vehicle description, and continually updated the exact location of the truck as it continued westbound on I-12. Nadler and other motorists positioned themselves in a manner that prevented additional westbound traffic from approaching the unpredictable driver. As Nadler was relaying the position of the truck, 911 operators and Troop personnel were updating responding Troopers. The closest Trooper was able to position his unit on the right shoulder of I-12 west of the Pumpkin Center exit. As the truck approached the Trooper, it veered off the right lane and crashed into the rear of the Trooper’s unit. Troopers say they suspect the driver of the truck, Bradley Burch, was impaired on heroin at the time of the crash. Burch and the Trooper both sustained minor injuries in the crash. Burch was arrested and booked into the Tangipahoa Parish Jail for DWI, Reckless Operation, and Driving with a Suspended License. Troopers would like to remind motorists to remain vigilant while traveling. These callers exemplified the proper approach to notifying law enforcement of a dangerous impaired driver. Louisiana motorists wishing to inform Troopers of dangerous roadway conditions are reminded to call *LSP [*577] to be connected with their nearest Troop.
Springer Spaniel helps Oregon State Police find drug trafficers
Harley is a 3-year-old springer spaniel, and is an Oregon State Police drug dog who loves his job. Harley works with Senior Trooper Jake Ledbetter from the state police office in Winchester. The dog came from Belfast, Ireland, and got his job mainly because of the change in marijuana laws in Oregon. When the state legalized marijuana, Ledbetter’s black lab, Charger, who was trained to detect marijuana, among other drugs, had to be retired. So Harley has been a part of the enforcement team for about a year now, and Ledbetter said he is spot on when it comes to detecting drugs like cocaine, methamphetamine and heroin. It’s a job that can be pretty tough because of the effort by drug runners to disguise drugs with sophisticated packing and hiding them in hard to find places in all sizes of vehicles. “When we’re finding these drugs, they’re wrapping them sometimes six or seven times in cellophane and vacuum sealing, and put grease and other stuff around it to try to prevent the dog from finding it,” said Ledbetter. But Harley is extremely successful anyway, said Ledbetter. He is a high energy dog, and when he gets focused on finding drugs, he is relentless in his pursuit. “When you have a dog that has a high hunt drive, it’s a lot easier to train them, because you’re getting them focused on an area and once they’re imprinted on that, they want to go find it non-stop,” he said. Since February of 2016, Harley and Trooper Ledbetter have located and confiscated 33 pounds of Methamphetamine, 2.3 pounds of Heroin, and 11.4 pounds of cocaine in 33 different incidents, according to Capt. Bill Fugate, the public information officer for the Oregon State Police. Even though marijuana is not the focus any longer, Harley still gets plenty of chances to do his job. Ledbetter said he’ll use the dog anywhere from 50 to 70 times in a year. The other more dangerous drugs, that the dog is trained to find, have increased in frequency in the county. “Coke and heroin, it’s unbelievable how much of the stuff is going through this freeway,” Ledbetter said of Interstate 5. “Heroin was unheard of five years ago, very rarely would you see it and now it’s everywhere.” Harley has made a lot of drug finds in the past year, but there have been times that the dog will indicate a find, and they just can’t locate it. Sometimes, it’s just too well hidden, but the dog has definitely picked up the scent and knows it’s there. “We call it an unconfirmed alert, because we couldn’t find anything, but obviously we were looking for a reason,” Ledbetter said. The dog is very accurate, the officer added. In fact, about 95 percent of the time drugs are found. A lot of times, drugs are hidden in sophisticated compartments ... in the hydraulics, under trunk latches and other hard-to-find places. Ledbetter said the state police had to retire several dogs, although some were actually sold to other agencies that are on the lookout for large quantities of marijuana being shipped out of Oregon to other states where it is still not legal. He said there is a lot of that activity, and a lot of officers, in eastern Oregon especially, are coming across loads of marijuana headed out of the state. Because of the increase in the number of semis that are hauling illegal drugs, officers are now starting to focus more on the trucks and Ledbetter said it can be a big challenge. “They have a legitimate reason for travel,” Ledbetter said, and he added that makes it tougher to spot the trucks that might have contraband on board. It took about four months to get Harley trained and certified, and Ledbetter continues to train him, working with him every day. Ledbetter said the dog has been a tremendous help in finding the illegal narcotics, and he is the reason a lot of them never made it to the streets. Ledbetter said the dog will work five to seven years before he is retired. The two get pretty attached to each other after being together everyday. “It’s weird, I spend more waking hours with the dog than I do my family,” he said. “Harley’s been a real valuable addition to the force.”
Florida Highway Patrol revitalize their Arrive Alive campaign
Recognizing that 2015 and 2016 have had a spike in serious injury and fatality crashes, the Florida Highway Patrol revitalized their Arrive Alive campaign, which was originally unveiled in 1970. FHP has partnered with many of the law enforcement agencies within the state to target high crash corridors, or hot spots in order to drive down serious crashes. The Florida Department of Transportation, Florida Sheriff's Association, Florida Police Chiefs Association, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the National Transportation Highway Safety Administration have all voiced their support of this initiative. The Arrive Alive campaign will incorporate law enforcement presence, media outreach and road safety assessments in high crash and high crime areas through a data driven approach. The information on each area will be shared with each partner agency and the area will be patrolled by both the local agency and the Florida Highway Patrol. Florida currently boasts a population of over 20 million residents and hosted over 105 million visitors in 2015. Considering the population explosion in Florida, the amount of visitors and the amount of highway freight transportation, the Florida Highway Patrol recognizes that leveraging technology and a partnership approach to traffic safety is a necessity in our effort to save lives. The Patrol is utilizing a web based portal to collect data from each law enforcement officer working the hot spots in order to provide quarterly updates to our partners and to evaluate the effectiveness of the program. This is not an enforcement campaign, this is a sustained statewide effort to reduce serious traffic crashes. Together with their partners, the Florida Highway Patrol hopes this campaign will work towards driving down the number of traffic fatalities in the state.
Vermont State Police Bomb Squad Robot
On a recent morning, two members of the Vermont State Police Bomb Squad stared intently at two screens inside their truck parked outside the Williston barracks, their hands pressing nobs and softly moving joysticks on the computer's operation board. The mission: retrieve a hat and gloves from a visiting photographer's camera bag using two of the squad's three robots. It was gentle work, as the robots arms carefully hovered over the bag, grabbed its zippers and prodded the bag. Within 10 minutes, the robots had successfully handed the items to the photographer. "Mission complete," said Sgt. Bill Sweeney, a member of the squad. "That wasn't even that hard." While this task was just to show what the robots can do, the nine-member Bomb Squad faces real situations where the machines are used, said Sgt. Paul Ravelin, another squad member. The robots were seen in action on Jan. 6 at the Federal Building on Elmwood Avenue in Burlington after a suspicious package was found at the post office. "It was an unknown to us," Ravelin said this week of the suspicious package. "We had information to believe that the package we were looking at had been moved by someone prior to us being there. Not knowing what it was we were approaching, we felt the best way to do it was to send a robot down and see what we would be dealing with." Each call for the Bomb Squad is different, and members typically initially assess whether the robots are needed. "We can put a robot downrange, instead of having human beings exposed to an unknown threat," Ravelin said. "We can do everything a human can do, but we can actually do it robotically." The squad uses three robots that are different sizes: a large robot that weighs about 500 pounds, a medium robot which weighs 125 pounds, and a small "point-man" robot weighs about 15 pounds and stands about one foot off the ground. Vermont State Police used funding from U.S. Homeland Security for the robots, Ravelin said. The largest robot cost $140,000, the medium robot was about $150,000, and the smallest robot cost about $25,000. The middle robot is the newest, purchased about a year-and-a-half ago, Ravelin said. The two larger robots have arms that can grab objects, and the smaller robot is used for reconnaissance. The largest robot, which is 14 years old and made of steel and aluminum, can also drag up objects up to 600 pounds. "A bomb tech in a suit weighs up to 300 pounds on average, so if a bomb tech goes down, we can use the robot to go down and pull that tech into safety," Ravelin said. The largest robot also allows for two-way communication: members of the bomb squad speak from a walkie talkie inside the squad truck, and those in the field can speak back through a speaker on the bot. Ravelin said the two-way communication could come in handy during a hostage situation when other attempts by crisis negotiators to contact a subject are unsuccessful. The robots have yet to be used for that purpose, but Bomb Squad members have trained for that possibility, he said. The Bomb Squad trains at least three times per year, sometimes alongside members of the Vermont Air National Guard, Ravelin said. The nine-member Bomb Squad team responds to about 25 to 50 calls per year throughout the state, according to the Vermont State Police website."If we can minimize the amount of time that we're actually standing over an IED, that's better for us in the long run," Ravelin said. "And if we're utilizing the robot to do that, and that's the better option, we'll take that opportunity every time."
MA State Trooper Helped Deliver a Baby
A State Police trooper pulled over on the Massachusetts Turnpike in Blandford Saturday morning to help what he thought was a driver and a disabled car. Instead the trooper ended up helping deliver a baby. Trooper Carlos Nunez saw the car in the breakdown lane of the highway around 1:30 a.m. He soon learned a woman inside the car was in labor. "Trooper Nunez immediately requested an ambulance, but after an on-scene medical assessment, he determined that a delivery was imminent," State Police said. "Trooper Nunez made preparations for the delivery and, a short time later, the woman gave birth in the vehicle." The trooper provided care to the mother and newborn until Westfield EMS arrived. The mother and child were transported to Baystate Medical Center in Springfield.
Troopers Work Security in Washington During Inauguration
A group of local Utah Highway Patrol troopers were part of a 40 member squad sent to Washington, D.C. this week, to provide security during the inauguration events for President Donald Trump. Trooper Phil Rawlinson was one of four men, chosen from Section 1 that covers Cache, Rich and Box Elder counties. He, Sgt. Jason Kendrick and troopers, Josh Preece and Jason Jensen were selected last year, before Trump was even elected. Rawlinson said they were flown to Washington Wednesday so they could have a day for orientation. On Thursday, they met with Utah Governor Gary Herbert and received training from the D.C. Metro Police Department. “We were sworn in as U.S. Marshals just for the event,” explained Rawlinson. “When the inauguration parade was over the swearing-in, deputization expired. That was a once in a lifetime opportunity.” The troopers woke up at 2 a.m. Friday so they could be to their post by 5 a.m. They, along with the other troopers from Utah and Colorado, were stationed on a side street off Pennsylvania Ave., about 200 yds. from the east-side of the White House. Rawlinson said they could hear on their radios about the protests that were happening in nearby areas. Most of the people around them though were peaceful and expressed appreciation for them being there. “There were a few protesters and things that we did see, carrying signs and chanting, but we had more people than we could count come up to us and say 'thanks for being here, we are so glad you are here.' Some would say, 'Oh you're from Utah,' and they would have some tie to the state. They would tell us they had been to Park City skiing or another man said he went to Alta High School. “They were pretty happy to see the Beehive and thanked us for being there. They were happy that there was a big showing of law enforcement because they felt safe while they were there.” All together, more than 3,200 troopers, officers, and deputies from around the United States helped with security. Rawlinson said it was special for him to be with other law enforcement members from around the country. “I have never been to Washington D.C. and so I think being part of history and being with other police officers was something pretty neat. The troopers remained at their posts for thirteen-and-half-hours Friday, until the parade and festivities were over around 6 p.m. Rawlinson said even though it was a long day, it was a once in a lifetime experience that he's glad he got to do. “It was a pretty neat opportunity for all of us to be able to come and be a part of it. To be here as a police officer and wear the Utah Highway Patrol uniform here in Washington D.C. is pretty cool." The troopers flew back to Utah on Saturday.
Georgia State Patrol to Help with Inaugural Security
Dozens of Georgia state troopers are in Washington this week to help with security at the inauguration of Donald Trump as president. The Department of Public Safety on Thursday posted a series of photos to social media accounts showing members of the State Patrol in the nation’s capitol preparing for Friday’s swearing-in. The troopers were sworn in as temporary deputy U.S. marshal’s. Many states send law enforcement officers to major national events to help with security. Several Georgia units were in Cleveland and Philadelphia this summer for the Republican and Democratic national conventions.
Oregon State Trooper Takes First Steps Since Shooting
The Oregon State trooper critically injured in a Christmas Day shootout has taken his first crucial steps, literally, toward going home from the hospital. Nic Cederberg's family on Monday posted a video on YouTube showing the trooper in gray pants and a black t-shirt taking 26 steps with the support of nearby hospital workers. Cederberg suffered multiple gunshot wounds after he chased a homicide suspect in Washington County. "On Saturday, he walked 342 feet using a walker during his five physical therapy sessions," brother Jeff Cederberg wrote Monday on his Facebook page. "And on Thursday, he walked for the very first time since the shooting. He was only able to cover about six to ten feet before taking a short break, but it was much needed progress for him and for us." Jeff Cederberg could not be immediately reached for comment. A GoFundMe page, which also shows the YouTube video, has raised $86,595 out of a $100,000 goal from 1,202 people as of noon Tuesday. His brother was shot seven times at close range, in both arms, his abdomen and spinal canal, Jeff Cederberg wrote on Jan. 9. A bulletproof vest blocked another five bullets that police say were shot from James Tylka, who is suspected of killing his estranged wife, Katelynn Armand, in King City. Cederberg has suffered intense pain and numbness "described as having his right leg wrapped in white hot metal," his brother wrote. "Simply blowing on it would send him up the pain scale." But the pain did not discourage the trooper, and as the suffering subsided, Cederberg's resolve has swelled. He is signing up for as much extra physical therapy his facility will allow. "He always sets the bar higher the next day," Jeff Cederberg wrote, "because the only way he said he is willing to go home is if he can walk through the front door on his own with (wife) Hayley Shelton right beside him."
Working in public safety can often be a thankless task, but after recent tragedies have struck law enforcement agencies across America, now more than ever is an important time to recognize their commitment to serving. Growing up as the son of a firefighter, 5-year-old Connor Marcy knows this firsthand. A family friend and his mother Rebecca contacted WMAZ about their son’s birthday party at Monkey Joe’s in Warner Robins. However, it wasn’t a normal birthday party – it was also a celebration of law enforcement. In lieu of gifts, Connor asked guests to bring a cash donation for the families of fallen Peach County deputies Daryl Smallwood and Patrick Sondron. Rebecca spoke to Peach Sheriff Terry Deese about the party, and he contacted several other local agencies and asked if they’d be guests at Connor’s party. Deputies from the Houston County Sheriff’s Office, Peach County Sheriff’s Office, officers from the Byron Police Department, and Georgia State Patrol troopers arrived as the guests of honor. The troopers even helped Connor out in a tug-of-war match with the rest of the children at the party. He was allowed to get into the patrol vehicles and speak over the radio to Houston County. All of this was a surprise to employees and the owner of Monkey Joe’s, who publicly announced on Facebook they’d be making a donation in his honor. In total, they raised several hundred dollars with more incoming from people who were unable to attend Connor’s birthday. His mother says they gave him several options, and it was his own decision. She even says he’d tell you he’s giving his money ‘to help with the cops who are in heaven who died from the bad guys.’ She also says that although Connor has a growth deficiency, it hasn’t stopped his huge heart from growing.
Retired North Carolina Highway Patrol Lieutenant Receives Purple Heart
A retired North Carolina Highway Patrol lieutenant received the Purple Heart award 27 years after saving himself and a fellow trooper on duty. Maurice Chilton was assisting with a car chase on May 9, 1989. The suspect pulled over on an interstate ramp, and ran off into the woods. When Chilton found him, the suspect had compromised the other trooper's gun and was attempting to shoot him. "This guy had overpowered the trooper, had taken his gun away from him, was sitting on top of him, and was attempting to shoot him in the head," said Chilton. When he saw Chilton, the suspect switched his target. He pulled the trigger and hit Chilton in the forearm. "My badge was right here [on my chest] and it hit right there about an inch from my heart, an inch over and it would have got me right in the heart, and that would have been it I guess,” said Chilton. Chilton found a way to shoot his pistol with his left hand and hit the suspect several times. Chilton recovered and spent 13 more years on active duty before retiring in 2001. The Highway Patrol will honor one trooper each year that shows courage in the line of duty.
California Highway Patrol Officer intentionally struck my motorcyclist
A motorcyclist using a shoulder lane to pass traffic on State Route 52 accelerated into a California Highway Patrol (CHP) officer, striking him, officials confirmed to NBC 7 San Diego. The incident happened at approximately 3:15 p.m. Wednesday on eastbound State Route 52 at Summit near San Diego's Tierrasanta neighborhood, according to CHP officer Catano. At the time, three officers were responding to another accident when one standing on the right shoulder spotted the motorcyclist trying to pass everyone, according to officials on scene. One officer put his hands up to try and stop the motorcyclist, but instead, the motorcyclist accelerated and went straight for the officer, hitting him. Investigators believe the incident was intentional and are carrying on the investigation as assault on an officer. The suspect has been taken into custody. He is identified to be 26-year-old Christopher Ryan Warner of El Cajon. Medics were requested for one patient. An initial report showed the officer suffered minor injuries, though that could change pending a complete evaluation. Traffic on EB SR-52 came to nearly a standstill for afternoon commuters. No other information was immediately available.
Oregon State Trooper wounded on Christmas night continues to improve
Nic Cederberg, an Oregon State Police trooper injured in a Christmas night shootout, was shot 12 times in the arms and torso, his brother said this week. Jeff Cederberg posted on the family's GoFundMe account on Tuesday that his brother had given him permission to begin sharing details about the events of that night, which left two people dead and Cederberg in serious condition at Oregon Health & Science University Hospital. "What many don't know is how bad it really was that night," Jeff Cederberg wrote. "Most can speculate but few know what really happened." Jeff Cederberg's comments are some of the first detailed accounts of the shooting, which investigators have been hesitant to give out, citing the pending investigation by the Washington County Major Crimes Team and the district attorney's office. Cederberg, a state trooper stationed at the OSP's work site in North Plains, was shot by 30-year-old James Tylka, a former Beaverton Police Department cadet, whom police say had killed his estranged wife Katelynn Tylka-Armand, 24, of Beaverton, outside his parents' home in King City early that evening. Cederberg was having Christmas dinner with his family when he received a call about the shooting in King City. "I'm going to see what I can do to help," Jeff Cederberg remembered his brother saying during a candlelight vigilon Jan. 2. "Nic went out and saved lives that night. He put his life on the line to protect those who couldn't do it themselves." According to Sherwood Police Chief Jeff Groth, Cederberg chased Tylka and confronted him on Southwest Gimm Lane, just outside of Sherwood. Jeff Cederberg said that the shots were fired from about a dozen feet away, during a "gun fight in a phone booth" in Sherwood. "Almost every one of his rounds, three magazine's worth, had been fired when it was all said and done," Jeff Cederberg wrote. "When the shooting stopped and all went quiet Nic knew he was in serious trouble. As he lay there for a little more than two minutes by himself bleeding, he locked in mentally and found a way to survive." Five shots were stopped by Cederberg's bulletproof vest, but seven others struck him in both arms and torso, hitting his lungs and abdomen. Two others hit his spinal canal, nearly paralyzing him. Four bullets were still lodged in his body when he arrived at OHSU that night, Jeff Cederberg said. One is still in his lower spine, which Jeff Cederberg said will likely stay there for the rest of his life. Tylka was shot and killed by officers, according to the Washington County Sheriff's Office. Five police officers fired their weapons during the gunfight, including officers from Hillsboro, Tualatin and Sherwood police departments. All remain on administrative leave as the investigation continues. After Tylka was killed, officers from Sherwood grabbed a trauma bag from his police vehicle and began to render first aid to Cederberg. Officers used tourniquets to stop the bleeding, Groth said. Groth said that the actions of those officers "played a vital role" in Cederberg's survival. "What (Nic Cederberg had) with him were experienced officers who knew how to pack bullet wounds correctly and this ultimately save Nic's life," Jeff Cederberg wrote. "…The only reason he is still here today is someone was watching over him that night, I firmly believe it. Any one of those 12 bullets should have killed him and they didn't." Cederberg's recovery is moving along, his brother said. Cederberg is expected to be released from the hospital soon to begin physical therapy. Money continues to pour into several GoFundMe accountsset up for victims of the Christmas night shooting. Cederberg's GoFundMe account has raised more than $80,000, which Jeff Cederberg said will help his brother get through tough times ahead. "This is not a reward or bonus for doing his job that night," Jeff Cederberg wrote in a previous post earlier this week. "What this GoFundMe account is really for is to give Nic as well as his wife Hayley what they need the most and that is time. Time to heal, time to rest, time to decompress, time for Nic and Hayley to be together and breathe easy knowing that thousands of people have their back and that we will stand watch for them now."
North Dakota Highway Patrol Honor Guard serves special purpose for troopers, families
A lot of workplaces have different ways to honor their members, but North Dakota Highway Patrol is raising the bar by recognizing fellow troopers and state law enforcement. Highway Patrol recently started its own Honor Guard to celebrate the lives of those in their department and members of other law enforcement agencies. This dedicated group of 16 troopers has a special purpose. Posting the colors is just one of the routines Highway Patrol Honor Guard members do. Since 2013 troopers have learned this and much more. "They first learn how to march and how to get in formation, and then they grow into how to do a flag fold over a casket, how to do a firing volley at a funeral," says Lt. Daniel Haugen, Highway Patrol Honor Guard Commander. After attending the training camp in Minnesota, the group of 16 troopers perform at celebrations of troopers' lives, retirement parties and various state functions. The training leads to a rewarding experience. "It means a lot to the individuals that belong to this group. We are given special uniforms that look really good, and it means a lot to us when we see the look on the families faces," says Haugen. Haugen says Honor Guard uniforms are modeled off their old uniforms and a military formal dress uniform. Besides the special detailing, members wear a badge recognizing their position in the Honor Guard. A position which requires great sacrifice. "We have a really dedicated team of troopers on the Honor Guard that drop what they are doing, and with two days notice, will travel somewhere in the state of North Dakota and help a family get through a funeral," says Haugen. The department is one of several agencies in the state who have their own Honor Guard. Honor Guard members have a wide range of experience within the department. Haugen says some members have close to 20 years with Highway Patrol.
Michigan State Police get 50 black patrol cars to mark 100th Anniversary
The Michigan State Police fleet is getting 50 special edition black and gold patrol cars as part of efforts to mark the department’s 100th anniversary. The agency says the 2016 Dodge Chargers hitting the road starting Wednesday are painted to resemble the department’s 1937 Ford Model 74 patrol car. The Model 74 was one of the department’s first patrol cars. State police say they used black and gold cars until 1954, when they were changed to the current blue color. Each of the state police’s 30 posts will get at least one 100th anniversary patrol car for use on general patrol and at community events. The agency says the patrol cars were purchased as part of the department’s annual fleet replacement, so no additional expenditures were made.