WASHINGTON - A day after 300 law enforcement officers conducted a massive sting operation across the Washington, D.C. region the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms and Explosives discussed its efforts behind Operation Tin Panda.
The operation, which targeted the Blood gang, resulted in the arrest of 28 suspects and the recovery of dozens of guns and large quantities of drugs, according to officials.
The ATF said it launched the operation back in the spring and collaborated with Federal Bureau of Investigation and several other local law enforcement agencies.
"The investigation, which lasted about seven months, culminated yesterday (Wednesday) with the takedown. More than 20 search warrants, multiple arrests across Northern Virginia, the District, Maryland and elsewhere," Timothy Chittim III, ATF special agent in charge explained.
The ATF said it was looking to disrupt the Blood gang's involvement in violent crime as it targeted illegal firearms and drugs, including of cocaine, crystal methamphetamine and marijuana.
"We used a lot of investigative techniques in this case. We involved a lot of electronic media surveillance, physical surveillance, enforcement operations such as arrest warrants," Chittim described. "I think this investigation is a great example of how a concerted effort can have a real impact on violent crime and this community."
Authorities said 22 of the 28 suspects arrested would face federal firearms and drug charges, while the remaining six were arrested on state charges.