HAMMOND | Hammond police officers simultaneously broke down the doors of two homes during a Wednesday morning sting, netting three arrests on pending narcotics charges related to the sale and use of heroin.

More than 30 officers from the department's tactical, narcotics, gang and patrol units took part in the drug coordinated busts. Police Chief Brian Miller said the arrests put a small dent in solving the larger issue of drug use and sales in the city.

"As long as the profit margin is so high, they'll continue dealing, and we're going to continue to wage this war," Miller said. "It's just an incredibly violent and dirty business."

Hammond residents Robert Lumpkin, 59, of 6112 Willard Ave., Barry Wayne Hammonds Jr., 44, and Pamela Bobby, 46, both of 831 Michigan St., face preliminary felony charges of dealing and possessing heroin. Other related charges could be added.

Police simultaneously swarmed the Willard Avenue and Michigan Street homes shortly after 10 a.m. Officers stopped Lumpkin driving away in the alley behind the Michigan Street home, where he sold heroin to Hammonds, who in turn sold to Bobby, investigators said.

Officers found Lumpkin in possession of a gram of heroin, which he had tucked in his mouth, Miller said. Lumpkin also had an Illinois-issued public assistance debit card, though he maintains a permanent address near Hammond's Jacobs Square neighborhood, police said

At that home, officers found marijuana, other paraphernalia and a large amount of money, police said.

Two adults inside the residence at the time of the sting also may face charges. Two children were in the home when police entered.

A great deal of preparation and coordination goes into the 10 or so high-risk busts carried out each year, Miller said. At a Wednesday morning briefing, tactical officers were provided detailed information on the two locations, with photos of the doors to eliminate unnecessary surprises or mistakes. Miller said in some previous busts, officers have created floor plans prior to raids.

Extreme caution

When entering homes involved in high-risk stings, tactical officers use a variety of methods to help ensure their safety, Hammond Police Chief Brian Miller said. He said the first officer to enter a home after breaking down the door with a battering ram always has a protective shield and he will oftentimes detonate a flash bomb, which distracts and disorients subjects with its loud explosion and flash of light.

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