Agencies arrest 54 people in gang, drug bustsWritten by Gail Burkhardt | | email@example.com
Four law enforcement agencies worked together to reduce gang, gun and drug activity in Toledo during a criminal interdiction special.
On June 29, the Toledo Police Gang Task Force, the Ohio State Highway Patrol, the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the FBI arrested 54 people, seized about $4,500 worth of drugs as well as two long guns and one handgun, according to a news release from the Toledo Police Department.
Criminal interdiction specials happen two to three times a year, said Lt. Brad Weis, who is in charge of the Toledo Police Gang Task Force.
About 50 officers from the four agencies participated in the more than 10-hour effort June 29, he said.
The Highway Patrol pulled over vehicles and arrested those with outstanding warrants or illegal drugs, said Highway Patrol Lt. John Altman.
The FBI focused on arrests and seizures for breaking federal laws such as drug, violent crime, felony weapon possession, racketeering, bank robbery and kidnapping laws, said Dave Dustin, a supervisory special agent for the FBI.
ATF, which works to eradicate gun violence, seized weapons during the interdiction special.
“Guns are a tool of the trade in terms of violence and drug trafficking,” said Kyle Walton, the resident agent in charge for ATF’s Toledo office.
Walton added that gangs definitely contribute to gun violence in Toledo, but Weis said it is difficult to keep an exact tally of gang-related crimes because gangs are ever-changing.
Dustin, whose FBI region covers Cleveland, Akron, Youngstown and Toledo, said gangs can be neighborhood-based or span a larger area.
“Most of them in Toledo are localized neighborhood-based gangs, but they reach out to bigger cities a lot of times for a drug supply,” Dustin said.
Walton said he thinks a combined effort from different agencies, such as the criminal interdiction special will help fix the gang problem.
“We’re going to combine resources and combine our intelligence and work together to reduce this violence, and I think we’re going to be successful,” Walton said.