MINOT — Law enforcement agencies in the Minot area have encountered increased numbers of motorists that flee when officers attempt to stop them. Due to this increase of fleeing motorists, on June 2nd, the North Dakota Highway Patrol, Ward County Sheriff’s Office, and the Minot Police Department participated in an enforcement detail with the assistance of the Highway Patrol’s aircraft. The aircraft is equipped with a camera system that can observe and track targets visually and in infrared from several miles away. The aircraft monitored traffic stops made by officers in the Minot area.
During the detail, one vehicle fled a Ward County deputy and a trooper. Officers were able to safely disengage, not pursue, and allowed the aircraft to follow the vehicle. The aircraft tracked the vehicle to a cul-de-sac in NW Minot where the suspect fled on foot. The aircraft observed the suspect toss a backpack while running through a residential area and jumping over fences. The aircraft followed the suspect until Minot Police Officers arrived and chased the suspect on foot. The police officers apprehended the suspect. The backpack was located. The fleeing suspect was charged with fleeing in a motor vehicle, fleeing on foot, possession of methamphetamine with the intent to deliver, possession of marijuana with the intent to deliver, and possession of drug paraphernalia (2nd offense).
During the detail, law enforcement conducted more than 50 traffic stops resulting in several criminal charges which included two driving under the influence of alcohol, one possession of methamphetamine, one possession of drug paraphernalia, six driving with a suspended license, and one open container of an alcoholic beverage charge. Several additional citations and warnings were issued.
Additional aircraft enforcement details are being planned for the Minot area to help apprehend and deter fleeing motorists.