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Houston Drug Raids (1970)

Texas Department of Public Safety Historical Museum and Research Center

Silent | 1970

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  •  Officers search a private residence 
  •  A friendly dog does not understand the severity of the situation 
  •  Pat-downs at the pool hall 
  •  Press conference with Harris County Attorney General Carol Vance 
  •  Train station in Big Spring 
  •  Searching a lady’s handbag 
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On the night of January 23, 1970, law enforcement officers launched a series of narcotics raids across Houston, searching bars, pool halls, and private residences and arresting 114 individuals. (27 were indicted, nine were found in possession and charged, and 78 were processed and released.) The massive operation assembled more than 100 law enforcement personnel, including city and state police, Department of Public Safety narcotics officers, state intelligence agents, and the Texas Rangers. According to Chief of the DPS Narcotics Division Elmer Terrell, the busts were a part of Governor of Texas Preston Smith’s war on narcotics peddlers. This silent footage captures the event, as officers conduct searches and make arrests. It also shows Harris County Attorney General Carol Vance at a press conference about the operation. Later, the footage documents undercover operations at a train station in Big Spring.