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License Plate Reading Technology Helps Take Drugs Off the Street
Updated January 31, 2017 7:07 AM | Filed under: Crime
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(INDIANAPOLIS) - License plate reading technology helped an Indiana State Trooper take more drugs off the street. Sunday.

Just after 4 p.m., Trooper Christopher Waltz had a car pulled over near East 10th Street and Shadeland Avenue. Waltz is equipped with license plate reading cameras mounted to the top of his patrol car. As he completed the traffic stop, and was still stationary, his computer alerted him to a stolen license plate on a vehicle that had just passed him. Waltz was able to quickly locate the vehicle and pull it over.

The driver of the car was detained and identified as 36-year-old Billy Preston, of Indianapolis. During the course of the investigation nearly a half of a pound of marijuana, allegedly belonging to Preston, was located inside the vehicle.

The license plate on the vehicle was reported stolen in October of 2016.

Preston was transported to the Marion County Adult Processing Center on the probable cause of possession of marijuana, dealing marijuana, driving while suspended and receiving stolen property. The vehicle, a 2000 Chevrolet Suburban, is being held for further investigation due to contradicting VIN numbers located on the vehicle.

The Indiana State Police Indianapolis District has four patrol cars equipped with license plate readers. In 2016 this technology contributed to dozens of people being put in jail on over 800 criminal violations. These violations include suspended drivers, stolen license plates, stolen vehicles, misdemeanor warrants and serious violent felony warrants. The LPR alerts to certain violations, however the investigation into those violations sometimes lead to the discovery of drugs and illegal weapons inside the vehicles.

Trooper Waltz was assisted on this case by the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department and Indiana State Police intern Abigail Gray.

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