Joint law enforcement effort underway on I-85


By Stan Welch

A coalition of law enforcement agencies are conducting a joint exercise on I-85 between now and Friday.

The Anderson County Sheriff’s Office, the Anderson Police Department, the South Carolina Highway Patrol, the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office and the State Transport Police are working together in Operation 420, named after the street term for marijuana, and because its end date is April 20 (4/20).

The Anderson County mobile command center is located at the abandoned site of an old truck stop and Dairy Queen at Highway 81 North and I-85. From there, the actions of fifteen officers are coordinated. Fifteen officers are on the stretch of the Interstate through Anderson and Oconee counties during the day; fifteen more are on patrol at night.

The emphasis of the operation is to identify stolen vehicles, to make DUI and DUS cases, and to interdict the flow of drugs, that constantly move along the nation’s interstates.

According to Anderson County Sheriff John Skipper, SLED provided several devices known as tag readers. These units mount in the front and rear of the patrol vehicle and scan the license plates of cars that they pass, or which pass them. Those tags that are listed in the NCIC instant check system come back as stolen. By Monday afternoon, one arrest had already been made as a result of the tag readers.

The operation will continue until midnight Thursday.