FBI Director Christopher Wray announced yesterday in a video message the results of joint violent crime enforcement efforts throughout the summer, recognizing the essential cooperation of local and state law enforcement agencies around the country.
Between May 1, and Sept. 2, 2022, the FBI and local and state law enforcement partners arrested nearly 6,000 alleged violent criminals and gang members and seized more than 2,700 firearms connected to criminal conduct. Throughout the summer, the FBI and its partners also disrupted nearly 845 and dismantled 105 violent gangs and criminal enterprises and seized large quantities of fentanyl and other deadly narcotics.
“Keeping our communities and our country safe is the Justice Department’s priority, every single day. At the beginning of this year, we further intensified our department-wide efforts to combat violent crime, including by directing all 94 U.S. Attorneys’ offices to develop and implement district-specific violent crime reduction strategies,” said Attorney General Merrick B. Garland. “Together with our law enforcement partners across the country, we will continue to do everything we can to protect our communities from violent crime.”
“I believe the FBI’s most sacred duty is to ensure people can live free from fear in their own homes and neighborhoods,” said Director Wray. “To that end, we dedicate agents, analysts, and technical resources across the country to work with state and local law enforcement on these operations.”
These joint violent crime enforcement efforts resulted in FBI operations occurring in many communities across the country, including in New Mexico, California, Texas, Illinois, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Pennsylvania, and Washington, D.C., as summarized below:
The FBI Albuquerque Violent Gang Task Force executed 16 federal search warrants targeting violent street and prison gangs. More than a dozen federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies and SWAT teams seized more than one million fentanyl pills, 142 pounds of methamphetamine, 37 firearms, nine ballistic vests, two hand grenades, and $1.8 million in cash.
The Los Angeles Metropolitan Task Force on Violent Gangs arrested 28 members and associates of the South Los Angeles-based Eastside Playboys street gang for alleged federal racketeering, firearms, and narcotics charges. The task force seized approximately 47 firearms, almost 200 kilograms of methamphetamine, 27 kilograms of cocaine, more than 13 kilograms of fentanyl, and more than seven kilograms of heroin.
In Houston, 10 MS-13 gang members were federally indicted for racketeering conspiracy, murder, attempted murder, and conspiracy to murder in aid of racketeering, related firearms charges, and obstruction of justice. The seven murders alleged in the indictment were especially brutal, using mutilation and dismemberment with machetes, and included the killing of a juvenile female and a police informant.
As part of FBI Sacramento’s efforts in a multi-agency coordinated operation targeting the South Lake Tahoe area, seven defendants were charged with conspiracy to distribute and distribution of methamphetamine and heroin. Separately, four subjects were indicted for trafficking methamphetamine and firearms, including an AR-15-style rifle, a shotgun, and several handguns, some of which were “ghost” guns, lacking serial numbers.
In Chicago, three individuals were charged for two separate violent carjackings. In both instances, the defendants allegedly brandished a semiautomatic handgun, and in one, the defendants also allegedly used a semiautomatic rifle. Another defendant was charged in a separate carjacking in downtown Chicago, which also included the use of a firearm.
Out of FBI San Antonio’s Waco Resident Agency, a federal grand jury indicted 27 defendants for their involvement in a Texas-based drug trafficking organization operating a methamphetamine distribution ring, leading to numerous arrests.
A federal investigation into a Hawaiian criminal enterprise resulted in three subjects being arrested for their alleged participation in drug trafficking of methamphetamine and cocaine, operating an illegal gambling business, as well as firearms possession. The criminal enterprise operated throughout the Hawaiian Islands.
Forty-one violent gang members from Puerto Rico were arrested on drug trafficking and firearms charges. The criminal organization allegedly distributed heroin, cocaine, marijuana, Oxycodone, Xanax, and other drugs throughout Puerto Rico.
The FBI Washington Field Office’s Cross Border Safe Streets Task Force, recovered eight firearms and significant quantities of Fentanyl and crack cocaine stemming from searches related to their investigation. Ten defendants were arrested for allegedly conspiring to distribute Fentanyl and cocaine throughout the D.C. area.
Twenty-five people were arrested in Pennsylvania for allegedly running a drug trafficking ring. The subjects allegedly engaged in a widespread drug distribution conspiracy that crossed state lines into Florida, Puerto Rico, and Arizona.
Similar to those listed here, the FBI and its law enforcement partners conducted numerous operations in many other cities across the nation, including Cleveland, Buffalo, New Haven, Charlotte, Springfield, and more, and will continue these efforts against violent crime to help keep communities safe for everyone.