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Jeannette police chief: 'Operation Clean Sweep' a success

Kristie Linden | The Jeannette Spirit
A Jeannette Police car leaves the command center to conduct another mission as part of 'Operation Clean Sweep.'

Wednesday, April 30, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

Late last Thursday, the City of Jeannette was inundated with police officers and tactical equipment from across the county along with a task-force command center directing a massive sweep from one end of town to the other.

More than 70 police officers from multiple departments, some decked out in full tactical gear, swarmed the city in an operation that took months to plan. The Westmoreland County Department of Public Safety, the state police and the Attorney General's Drug Task Force helped to coordinate the effort.

The process was managed from one location, with a large mobile command center. Officers would come and go from the site, armed with new missions or locations to visit. Warrants were executed, 10 arrests were made —mostly on drug-related charges, nine bar and restaurant checks were conducted and multiple traffic stops were made.

Police Chief Shannon Binda said the 10 arrests that were made have led to ongoing investigations and those names and specific charges haven't been released.

But, he could say that 129 stamp bags of heroin were recovered along with $1,500 in cash.

There were 14 traffic citations filed, 37 traffic warnings issued and one person was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol.

“This is something they've been working on for months,” said Mayor Richard Jacobelli.

The sweep came a few days before the city's official annual spring cleaning work day and the mayor joked that the police department wanted to start the cleanup a few days early.

I think it went fantastic and it's going to be a continual push,” said Binda.

“We're not going to stop. We're going to be expecting more, for sure. They haven't seen the last of us.”

Binda said he wants anyone who participates in illegal activity in town to understand that these sweeps will continue to happen without notice.

“It's a guessing game as to when we're doing this again,” he said.

“I know when it's coming, they (criminals) don't.”

Kristie Linden is an editor for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at or 724-838-5154.



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