A just completed three month long high-intensity law enforcement sweep of the city's east side has clipped the wings of hundreds of people who police say were largely responsible for the recent spike in violent crime, and has allowed east side residents to reclaim their neighborhoods, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.
"The operation resulted in 215 arrests, to include 40 federal fugitives," said Assistant Police Chief James Flavin. "Over 70 firearms were seized, over $176,000 in drug value were seized, as well as $233,000 in cash.
The operation, which wrapped up on Friday, was dubbed 'Operation Triple Beam,' because the federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies involved 'focused like a laser beam' on dealing with the violence which has crippled entire neighborhoods, and resulted in the shootings of innocent people, including children.
Chief Deputy U.S. Marshal Melesio Hernandez says there was one target of the operation.
"Everything from drug offenses to armed aggravated assaults," he said. "The nature of it was 100% gang related."
Police and federal agencies say they are contemplating additional similar operations on the east, northeast, and other sides of town, to make sure violent gang members are clear that their activities will not be tolerated.
"No one neighborhood has a monopoly on gang violence," Flavin said.