“Maximum Effort” Produces Arrests, Seizures
Pennsylvania State Police made 85 criminal arrests, detained 117 illegal aliens, placed 959 commercial vehicles out of service and issued 4,394 traffic citations as part of a four-day statewide highway law-enforcement effort, Commissioner Jeffrey B. Miller announced.
Operation Maximum Effort, which was conducted May 11-14, also led to the seizure of counterfeit goods valued at $1.5 million, about 100 pounds of illicit drugs, 27 firearms and 11 vehicles, he said.
The operation was designed to set the tone for our enforcement programs as we enter the summer driving season, Col. Miller said. We want to make our highways safer by enforcing traffic laws. At the same time, we can make our nation safer by seizing fugitives, drugs, weapons and other contraband that move across our highways.
As part of Operation Maximum Effort, State Police created six teams of troopers who have received Operation SHIELD training and placed them on major highways across the Commonwealth. Operation SHIELD trains officers to be aware of potential signs of criminal activity after a vehicle has been stopped for any routine traffic violation, such as speeding, Col. Miller said.
A drug-sniffing State Police canine was assigned to each of the six teams.
The department also increased radar enforcement details, conducted a DUI enforcement effort and assigned its motor carrier enforcement officers and Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program inspectors to conduct commercial vehicle inspections.
Weve gathered the results of the operation and they are impressive, Col. Miller said. Troopers issued 4,394 traffic citations, including 676 speeding citations; arrested 49 individuals for driving under the influence, and issued 9,533 traffic warnings.
Our personnel inspected 2,977 commercial vehicles. As a result of those inspections, 959 vehicles and 193 commercial vehicle drivers were placed out of service.
Col. Miller said drug seizures included 92 pounds of khat, a narcotic plant whose leaves are chewed to produce a high; two pounds of marijuana; one pound of heroin, and various numbers of OxyContin, Vicodin and ecstasy tablets.
Troopers seized 27 firearms, including an AK-47 automatic rifle; three knives, and a set of brass knuckles.
The $1.5 million in counterfeit items seized included designer handbags, DVDs and counterfeit Rolex watches. Col. Miller said troopers also seized equipment used in the manufacture of counterfeit goods.
Personnel made 85 criminal arrests, detained 117 illegal aliens, arrested 10 fugitives and seized eight fake IDs, he said.