- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 28, 2017

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) - Authorities say they’ve netted a total of 16 convictions following a recent sweep of people who sold illegal guns or drugs.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in eastern Virginia said in a statement Wednesday that the operation’s final defendant has pleaded guilty. All were convicted within four months of being arrested.

The fed’s Operation Riptide began last fall in Hampton Roads. A sweep in March recovered more than 50 guns and significant amounts of cocaine, crack and heroin. Authorities say illegal guns often propel gang violence. Deadly heroin overdoses are also a major concern.

The operation was led by The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms. It also involved state police, Norfolk police and several other local departments in Virginia’s Tidewater region.


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