MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The Memphis Police Department says the city is much safer thanks to two high level operations focusing on violence and drugs.
“This was a major operation. I think this sends a message that this is not going to be tolerated by MPD, the district attorneys office or any other law enforcement agencies in Shelby County,” Shelby County Assistant District Attorney Reggie Henderson said.
At Monday’s press conference, Memphis Police Director Mike Rallings was flanked on both sides by tables covered in illegal guns seized off the streets.
“These firearms will be checked to see if they are connected to any other crimes,” Ralling said.
Operation Spring Cleaning was a 6-week proactive operation focusing on violent crime across the city.
A total of 340 arrests were made during the operation, and 77 firearms were recovered including 10 high powered rifles.
Police say the arrests include documented gang members part of the Blood, Crips and Vice Lords.
Of the recovered guns, 22 were reported stolen.
Director Rallings believes more of them are stolen but not reported. He’s asking gun owners to help police.
“It is your responsibility as a responsible citizen to record the make, model, serial number, put it in a safe place. If you don’t want to write it down, take a picture of it with your smart phone,” he said.
The second operation was coined Operation Non-Believers and focused on drug dealers selling heroin and fentanyl.
Just over 100 grams of fentanyl were recovered.
“That is enough Fentanyl to kill thousands of people. But where there are drugs, there are guns,” Rallings said.
During Operation Non-Believers, officers removed an additional 20 firearms and arrested 30 suspected mid to high level drug dealers.