The DA’s office spared no expense in the drug investigation. “Operation Night Out” included wire-tapping, aerial reconnaissance and managing an informant on the inside.


The investigation was started by state police detectives in the office of Bristol County District Attorney Samuel Sutter but then mushroomed. Sutter brought in the State Police Special Services Operations unit, federal authorities from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, a Rhode Island drug task force staffed by multiple agencies, and additional Massachusetts state police from the Plymouth County district attorney’s office. Since this investigation focused on a couple of businesses in North Attleboro, local police also had a role to play.


 Imagine what all this undercover work, involving numerous police officers and a state police helicopter equipped with high-tech surveillance equipment, cost the district attorney’s office. It must be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, and that doesn’t even count the prosecutions to come.


So, what did the six-month investigation yield? Not a lot: five arrests, a little marijuana, a few weapons, recovery of $37,000 and elimination of a couple of marijuana growing operations.

READ MORE: Column: BRISTOL: A lot spent to stop pot
Sun-Chronicle (Attleboro), Sun, April 10, 2011