HUNTINGTON, Ind. (WANE) – One of the largest drug raids in Huntington County history is now complete. In the beginning of April, a team of city and county police targeted 31 suspected drug dealers in what they called “Operation Breakfast Club.” On Saturday, authorities found and arrested the final suspect in Oil City, Pennsylvania.
Authorities called the sting “Operation Breakfast Club” because most of the suspected drug dealers were born in the 1980’s. The suspects allegedly dealt substances such as meth, prescription drugs, cocaine, and heroin.
Bradley Niemann was the only suspect to escape custody following April’s major drug raid. But a tip recently led Huntington investigators to think Niemann fled to Oil City, Pennsylvania with a woman.
Police in Oil City located Niemann and went to serve a warrant for him around 3:00 Saturday afternoon. They say he ran out the back door of a home, and jumped in the Allegheny River, which was still very cold.
Authorities say he swam .2 miles to a wooded area, but several police agencies, the fire department, and even neighbors circled the area and flushed him out after two and a half hours. Oil City Police Chief Robert Wenner said about 20 people helped capture Niemann.
“He was suffering from some hypothermia from the water, so he was not able to–I think his running time was over,” said Wenner.
Malcom Jones is the Huntington County detective who worked to track down Niemann. He’s one of the team of detectives who worked on Operation Breakfast Club. Jones said it was a good feeling when he got the call that Niemann was in custody Saturday.
“It was kind of haunting us a little bit that he was able to be on the run for so long without us being able to capture him,” Jones said. “Everybody was pretty well happy it was finally complete.”
Officials aren’t sure when Niemann could be extradited back to Huntington.