- Associated Press - Thursday, February 18, 2016

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) - Authorities have arrested more than 60 people as part of an operation to combat violent crime in Hillsborough County.

The Tampa Bay Times reports (https://bit.ly/1SUT5pw) the four-month investigation targeted drug and gun traffickers. Eight people were charged federally.

During a news conference Thursday, U.S. Attorney A. Lee Bentley said that one of the people arrested had a 38-page rap sheet.

“Operation Gun Box” was a collaboration between the Hillsborough sheriff’s office and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and Explosives. It started in October, after officials noticed a 9 percent spike in gun-related crimes countywide from the year before.

Of even greater concern: a 5 percent increase in overall violent crimes.

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