The Miami-Dade Police Department arrested 112 people this week in a sting known as “Operation Santa’s Helper.” This is an annual project aimed at relieving crime areas that experience homicides, robberies, burglaries and thefts.
The operation included vehicle stops, surveillances, patrolling known drug areas.
According to reports, MDPD confiscated: 6.6 grams of crack cocaine, 10.2 grams of powder cocaine, 214.4 grams of marijuana, 3 pipes of narcotic paraphernalia, more than $2,600, and three firearms.
These operations are very common around the holidays as police seek to round up some end-of-the-year arrests. Charges can range from simple misdemeanor drug charges (such as possession of marijuana and possession of paraphernalia) to serious felony drug charges, such as trafficking.
Since sweeping sting operations like this one are more about volume than quality of arrest, I find that constitutional considerations, such as the validity of a police stop, go out the window as cops are only concerned with one thing - making the arrest.
Rights are rights no matter what action the police departments are taking. Random traffic stops and unlawful searches are not okay under any circumstances. When the cops are out in force with one purpose, such as they were while conducting this sting operation, the rights of the accused take a back seat to the all-important goal of racking up numbers.