State and local officials revealed the results of another undercover sting operation that led to the recovery of property, stolen vehicles and drugs worth one-and-a-quarter million dollars. Ken Carter of the state Division of Narcotics Enforcement says the plan involved officers from Polk, Story, and Jefferson counties, the Department of Public Safety, the Department of Criminal investigation, State Patrol and the Des Moines and Ames police departments. Officers set up a phony business in Des Moines. He says they set up the shop and let the criminals know they were open for business. The operation began one year ago in July and wrapped up midway through last month. Carter says 15 of a potential 50 suspects are in custody already, and more arrests should happen soon. He says there is probably a “great amount of paranoia” among those who deal in stolen property and drugs. Public Safety Commissioner Kevin Techau says this is the second such operation in the last three years, and it sends a message. He says those in Iowa who’re inclined to theft should be warned that people are watching and law enforcement will catch them. As officers announced the sting, a large truck was parked outside the patrol headquarters in Des Moines, containing boxes of stolen tools, a boat, a jet-ski and several of the 112 cars recovered. D-C-I Director Darwin Chapman called the stolen loot a sad sight.He likened it to the movie “Field of Dreams”, but called it “Field of Broken Dreams” as it indicated the personal property stolen from innocent people. While most of those arrested are from Polk County, Chapman credited all the agencies for a successfull operation.He says an organization called “LEIN”, law enforcement intelligence network, which is comprised of every law enforcement agency in the state of Iowa. Chapman says they’ll work with insurers and others to return the stolen goods to their rightful owners.
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