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Officers from nine police departments in Howard, Miami, Tipton and Fulton counties racked up 68 arrests as part of a three-day drug blitz along U.S. 31.

During the unannounced patrol from June 21-23, police made arrests on 171 mostly drug-related charges, including 22 felonies. Officers also issued 86 traffic citations and 297 written warnings.

Police said they located cocaine, LSD, methamphetamine, heroin, marijuana, psilocybin mushrooms, edible marijuana food, MDMA, THC oil, ketamine and prescription medications, along with drug paraphernalia.

The contraband was found during traffic stops made by the various police departments. Officers used marked and unmarked police cars to conduct the saturation patrols on U.S. 31, and officers were supported by drug-detecting police dogs.

Indiana State Police dubbed the patrols Operation Blue Heat and said the goal was to enforce traffic laws and catch people who utilize Indiana roadways to transport and distribute illegal narcotics. They said U.S. 31 was chosen because it’s heavily trafficked.

“Officers wanted to serve notice that as the summer temperatures increase, so will their vigilance in keeping illegal narcotics from reaching Hoosier communities,” police said in a ISP Peru Post release.

This is the 10th year state police have organized a summer driving season kickoff patrol.

The drug blitz has always coincided with the Electric Forest Festival, an annual four-day event near Rothbury, Michigan, that draws tens of thousands from across the country. The festival focuses on electronic and jam-band music.

Police said the patrol should serve as a warning that officers will “utilize all of the resources at their disposal to catch and arrest those who transport illegal drugs.”

Departments participating in the operation included Indiana State Police, the sheriffs’ department in Miami, Fulton, Cass and Tipton counties, and the police departments in Kokomo, Logansport, North Manchester and Thorntown.

Carson Gerber can be reached at 765-854-6739, carson.gerber@kokomotribune.com or on Twitter @carsongerber1.

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Carson Gerber is a reporter for the Kokomo Tribune and can be reached at 765-854-6739, carson.gerber@kokomotribune.com or on Twitter @carsongerber1.

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