Fifty suspected drug dealers are being sought and arrested by area police across Johnson County today in a targeted raid.
The raids began by 7 a.m. The investigations have been conducted by undercover detectives for the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office and the Franklin Police Department.
Here’s photos from the day:
By 9 a.m., about 16 people had been located and arrested. Police were looking for suspects from Edinburgh to the south and into Marion County.
By 1 p.m., 27 of the targeted suspects had been arrested, plus 13 additional suspects.
Click here to see the list of suspects and charges.
The SWAT team and teams of officers were going to homes where the drug dealers are suspected of staying throughout the day.
Some of the suspects were known to have weapons, and at least four of them have been arrested in previous drug roundups.
Meth is still the top drug that detectives are being led to investigate. The charges were also related to dealing cocaine, heroin and morphine.
During the drug dealing incidents that led to the charges, one suspect had a child with him. Eight of the charges were enhanced because the incidents happened near school property, according to the reports.
Police returned to 870 Yandes St. in Franklin to search for a man, Michael Smith, 40, charged with dealing methamphetamine.
Smith and 12 other people were found in the home, and a makeshift living space was in the garage, where police found needles and a bag of suspected drugs, police said. Police were on the lookout for people who may be hiding in the attic as well.
Ten people in the home were arrested.
The home is the same address police targeted in November during a drug raid. At that time, about 15 people were living in the home.
Franklin police have created a targeted patrol team to focus on problematic homes in the neighborhood, Chief Kirby Cochran said.
“Now, hopefully, we will be able to shut this place down,” Cochran said.
Neighbors watched the search unfold and asked police to keep taking action.
Across the city, police searched for suspects in the Countryview mobile home community, a motel and the Heritage subdivision. Police mapped out their approaches, the layout to homes they had been in before and plotted how officers and K-9s should approach.
Such raids have become routine in Johnson County, where the prosecutor’s office, Franklin police and the sheriff’s office want to send a clear and public message that drug dealing will not be tolerated in Johnson County.
Click here to see the coverage of the last roundup in November 2018, which was the largest in state history.
In Heritage, police had a warrant to arrest Michael Sanders, 47, who was wanted on three felony charges of dealing pills.
Sanders has a history with local police and was involved in an hours-long standoff with the SWAT team two years ago. He is known to have weapons.
Police arrested him in the front yard after a scuffle.
As suspects were arrested, police were on the lookout for drugs or paraphernalia in sight. If they saw drugs, they could get search warrants for the property.
The cases against the suspects have been in progress since the fall, as undercover officers get tips from the public and build the strongest cases possible against each drug dealer.
Police officers from Bargersville, Prince’s Lakes, Edinburgh, Trafalgar, New Whiteland, Marion County, the Drug Enforcement Agency and the U.S. Marshals assisted in the arrests.