NORFOLK, Va. (AP) — Law enforcement officers seized 78 guns, $1 million in drugs and more than $560,000 during an operation that covered three area cities, federal officials said.
The investigation called Operation High Tide was launched in September and led to 20 convictions in federal court on drug and gun charges, The Virginian-Pilot reported.
“Armed criminals are the principal players involved in the deadly cycles of drug turf battles and gang conflicts,” said G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, at a news conference on Tuesday. “… This operation, High Tide, just like the natural phenomenon, helped to clean and purge the polluted areas of our community.”
Ashan Benedict, the special agent in charge for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ Washington division, said the investigation focused on the “most violent offenders” in Chesapeake, Portsmouth and Norfolk.
Authorities declined to say whether additional people had been arrested in the investigation and whether there were state cases being prosecuted as part of the operation. Officials did say additional phases of the operation are ongoing.