Operation Sudden Impact targets terrorists - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Anna Marie Hartman

Operation Sudden Impact targets terrorists

More than 50 law enforcement agencies gathered in Memphis late Saturday and early Sunday to catch criminals.      

The purpose of the multi-agency crackdown on crime, dubbed "Operation Sudden Impact," was to expose terrorist activity in the Midsouth.  The sweep resulted in the arrest of almost 80 people, 31 of which were fugitives.  Now, the federal government will determine if any of the suspects have ties to terrorism.

"Potential terrorists are smart people," said Chief Jeff Dyer of the U.S. Coast Guard. "They utilize every advantage that they can find."

Operation Sudden Impact united 53 state, local and federal law enforcement agencies.  Shelby County Sheriff Mark Luttrell said information gathered during the 24 hour crime fighting effort will be cross referenced with a Homeland Security terrorist database. 

"We have to be on constant alert on every level," Luttrell said. "At the rural areas, and the urban areas."

Luttrell said agencies at every level need to communicate, because smaller crimes often lead to bigger crimes.

Case in point - Sheriff's Department Patrolman Jason Kopacko pulled over a driver for improperly displaying a temporary tag.  A closer look revealed the driver had no insurance and no license.

Most criminals caught by the sweep did not have terrorist ties, but law enforcers said you can't be too careful.

"Terrorism is an event that could happen anywhere," Luttrell said.

Even in Memphis. 

Click here to send an email to Anna Marie Hartman.

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