CBrief) – The FBI engaged in a major operation throughout the summer to target allegedly violent criminals who were armed.

According to The Epoch Times, the months-long operation netted nearly 6,000 arrests and involved the seizure of more than 2,700 firearms.

“Violent crime is on the minds of a lot of Americans right now and top of mind for police chiefs and sheriffs, who constantly tell me that the rising rate of gun and gang violence is one of their most important and difficult challenges,” FBI Director Christopher Wray said in a video message regarding the operation.

The outlet noted:

The FBI, which has faced increasing criticism about its targeting of former President Donald Trump and his supporters, said that its agents and local law enforcement officials arrested nearly 6,000 alleged violent criminals and gang members. It also seized more than 2,700 firearms connected to criminal conduct.

Those operations were carried out in California, Texas, Hawaii, Illinois, New Mexico, Washington, Pennsylvania, and Puerto Rico.

“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 FBI said said, citing one aspect of the operation. “The task force seized approximately 47 firearms, almost 200 kilograms of methamphetamine, 27 kilograms of cocaine, more than 13 kilograms of fentanyl, and more than seven kilograms of heroin.”

In addition, the FBI noted that its gang task force acted on 16 federal search warrants aimed at prison and street gangs in and around Albuquerque, N.M., where agents “seized more than one million fentanyl pills, 142 pounds of methamphetamine, 37 firearms, nine ballistic vests, two hand grenades, and $1.8 million in cash,” the bureau said.

“Our state and local partners are the ones who are policing the streets on a daily basis,” said FBI Criminal Investigative Division Section Chief Jose Perez. “We are collaborating with our partners, sharing information and intelligence, identifying priorities, finding problem areas, and working those areas through our task forces.”

In a press release, the FBI said: “One of the crimes that has seen a spike recently is carjackings, especially as supply chain disruptions have made cars more valuable than ever. The FBI has formed carjacking task forces and working groups with law enforcement in several cities affected by spikes in carjacking, including Baltimore, Chicago, Louisville, Minneapolis, Philadelphia, San Juan (Puerto Rico), and Washington, D.C.”

“We can supplement local resources and bring that expertise to the table. We can help our partners investigate the full scope of a violent criminal organization that’s maybe not immediately visible and then come up with ways to disrupt or dismantle that organization,” Perez said.

The press release noted further that federal, state, and local law enforcement officers were able to “disrupt the operations” of some 845 gangs and other violent criminal operations, leading to the arrest of key leaders in more than 100 of the groups.

As a result of these joint efforts, law enforcement was able to disrupt the operations of nearly 845 gangs and violent criminal enterprises and get to the heart of more than 100 of these groups by arresting key leaders and seizing their assets.

“I believe the FBI’s most sacred duty is to ensure people can live free from fear in their own homes and neighborhoods,” said 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.”

Interestingly, the announcement of the FBI’s summer-long operations come amid rising criticism of Democratic officials in cities where violent crime has spiked over the past few years over what critics have called “soft-on-crime” policies such as eliminating cash bail and refusing to keep violent suspects in custody while they await their trials.

The Epoch Times reported that “the average murder rate across the United States hit 6.9 murders per 100,000 people in 2021, or the highest figure it’s been in more than 20 years.”

“Drug overdose deaths, at the same time, have spiked to more than 107,000 nationwide in 2021, setting an all-time record, according to federal data,” the outlet noted.

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