NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Following a sharp increase of shootings and homicides in eastern New Orleans, police have made 111 arrests in a massive drug roundup.
Authorities are calling the operation "Wild Wild East." The operation began in July 2013 and began targeting violent, repeat offenders selling heroin, crack cocaine and guns. Over a six month period, special agents conducted undercover buys and telephone wire intercepts concentrated in eastern New Orleans.
Multiple search and arrest operations involving more than 110 law enforcement officers were conducted on January 29. The operation resulted in 19 federal and 92 state arrests.
Authorities say they seized 32 guns in the operation, including 4 rifles, 27 handguns and 1 shotgun. In addition, a ballistic vest and nine vehicles were seized. Officers say $971,234 in cash was seized, as well as jewelry valued at $332,289. Large quantities of heroin and crack cocaine were also seized.
Of the 111 arrests, police say 65 had prior felony arrests.
"This is the way law enforcement will do business in this region," said U.S. Attorney Kenneth A. Polite. "Together, we are focusing on identifying, investigating, engaging and ultimately removing perpetrators of violence from our street."