49 arrested in Phoenix on gun and drug crimes

AP News
Posted: Mar 29, 2011 2:13 PM
49 arrested in Phoenix on gun and drug crimes

Authorities in Phoenix say a storefront sting operation netted 49 people on federal gun and drug crimes and could lead to state charges against 54 others.

The U.S. Attorney's Office says "Operation 602 Exchange" resulted in the seizure of 223 weapons, including handguns, assault rifles, rifles and sawed-off shotguns, many of them stolen. Agents and officers also seized narcotics, including methamphetamine, crack and powder cocaine, prescription medications, marijuana and heroin.

The 49 were arrested after a nine-month undercover operation.

The Arizona Attorney General's Office is expected to charge an additional 54 defendants on related state drug and firearms charges as part of the same investigation.

Federal agents and Phoenix police ran a secondhand merchandise store dealing in used electronics and military supplies, where they purchased guns and narcotics from people.