Republicans tend to portray Democrats as soft on crime, but the FBI posted record numbers of arrests this summer. As the GOP is struggling with weak candidates and gas prices are going down, the crime narrative will have an easy retort.
FBI Director Christopher Wray announced today in a video message the results of joint criminal justice enforcement initiatives throughout summer, acknowledging the importance of cooperation between the state and local law enforcement agencies across the nation. read: Democrats tougher on crime
Between May 1 until September. 2 2022 between May 1 and Sept. 2, 2022, the FBI and local and state law enforcement agencies 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 together with its partners stopped nearly 845 and destroyed the 105 violent gangs and criminal enterprises , and seized huge quantities of fentanyl as well as other deadly drug substances.
“Keeping our communities as well as our country safe is the Justice Department’s priority every day. Since the beginning of the year, we stepped up our efforts across the department to fight violent crime, including by directing each of the 94 U.S. Attorneys’ offices to develop and implement district-specific violence reduction strategies,” the 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 led to FBI operations taking place in a variety of communities across the nation including New Mexico, California, Texas, Illinois, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Pennsylvania as well as 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 SWAT and law enforcement agencies teams seized over one million Fentanyl pills, 142 lbs of methamphetamine and 37 firearms nine ballistic vests two hand grenades, as well as $1.8 million 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 around 47 firearms, more than 200 kilograms of methamphetamine, 27 kilograms of cocaine plus over 13 kilograms of fentanyl as well as more than 7 kilograms of heroin.
In Houston, 10 MS-13 gang members were federally indictedfor racketeering conspiracy murder, attempted murder and conspiracy to murder for racketeering, related firearms-related charges, and obstruction of justice. The seven murders mentioned in the indictment were particularly brutal, involving machetes to cut and mutilate victims and also included the murder of a young female and an officer informant.
As part of the FBI’s efforts in a multi-agency coordinated operation focused on the South Lake Tahoe area, seven defendants were charged with conspiring to distribute and distribute heroin and methamphetamine. In addition, four subjects were indicted for trafficking methamphetamine, as well as firearms, which included an AR-15-style rifle, a shotgun, and a variety of handguns, some of which were “ghost” guns, lacking serial numbers.
In Chicago, three individuals were charged for two separate violent carjackings. In both cases the defendants were allegedly seen with firearms that were semiautomatic, and in one the case, they also used a semiautomatic rifle. A third defendant was charged in an additional carjacking in downtown Chicago and also the use of an firearm.
From the FBI San Antonio’s Waco Resident Agency, a federal grand jury has indicted 27 defendants for their involvement in a Texas-based drug trafficking organization operating a methamphetamine distribution ring, leading to numerous arrests.
An investigation by the federal government into an Hawaiian criminal enterprise resulted in three subjects being arrested for their alleged participation in the drug trafficking business of cocaine and methamphetamine operating a gambling business that was illegal and firearms possession. The criminal enterprise operated throughout the Hawaiian Islands.
41 violent gang members of Puerto Rico were arrested on firearms and drug trafficking charges. The criminal organization is believed to have distributed heroin cocaine, marijuana, Oxycodone, Xanax, and other drugs across Puerto Rico.
The FBI’s Washington Field Office’s Cross Border Safe Streets Task Force found eight firearms as well as significant quantities of Fentanyl and crack cocaine stemming from searches related to their investigation. Ten suspects were detained for allegedly conspiring to distribute cocaine and Fentanyl all over the D.C. area.
Twenty-five people were detained in Pennsylvania for allegedly running a drug trafficking ring. The suspects were accused of being part of a massive drug distribution conspiracy which went beyond state borders to Florida, Puerto Rico, and Arizona.
Similar to the operations mentioned here, the FBI along with our law enforcement partners carried out numerous operations in a variety of cities across the nation, including Cleveland, Buffalo, New Haven, Charlotte, Springfield, and more and will continue these efforts to stop violent crime and ensure that our communities are secure for all.