State Patrol ‘Shield Detail’ catches hundreds of violators

“The goal of the initiative was to apprehend felons in Montgomery County,” OSHP Staff Lt. Robin Schmutz said at a press conference Thursday at the patrol office next to Interstate 70 in Clayton. “None of us could have done it on our own.”

The 48-hour blitz in and around Montgomery County took place Tuesday and Wednesday and was paid for mostly by budgeted agency overtime and federally-funded overtime money. The Shield Detail led to nearly 2,000 traffic stops and more than 1,100 enforcement actions.

The OSHP’s partnering agencies were the Indiana State Police, Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, Clay Twp., Huber Heights, Miami Twp., New Lebanon and Trotwood police departments along with the United States Marshals Service. The main components were increased traffic and criminal patrols, aggressive OVI enforcement and warrant service seeking to cut down on drunk-driving and accident-causing behavior.

Planned for at least four months, the agencies combined to arrest 215 people for driving under suspension and cite 19 commercial vehicles and seven commercial drivers for violations. Two weapons were seized and 35 drug-related offenses were discovered as officers seized marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin, codeine and prescription narcotics.

Among the 18 wanted felons arrested were Steven Huckleby — wanted on five counts of felony sexual battery — and Demetrus Dunson, wanted on felony drug trafficking charges. The Dayton Daily News reported Sept. 9 that there were 10,309 outstanding felony warrants in Montgomery County.

“With the available resources that the State Highway Patrol brought into the county, that really helped us (address) a lot of the specific, criminal problems,” Miami Twp. Deputy Police Chief John DiPetro said.

DiPetro said the initiative helped catch four people for underage drinking, three people performing illegal sexual activity in Waldruhe Park — including one registered sex offender — and one person wanted for thousands of dollars of fraudulent returns at retail businesses from Dayton to Kentucky.

Dayton Police Lt. Brian Johns said the combined effort enabled officers to investigate neighborhood drug complaints that the department usually doesn’t have time to complete. The preliminary numbers did not include totals from the Indiana State Police and Huber Heights police.

Schmutz said such shield operations have happened before in Ohio but the only other one as big as this was in Franklin County. She added that the official results will be studied to decide whether or not to repeat the effort: “We probably will and may switch up the days.”

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