46 People Arrested in Massive Gang Bust, 36 Guns and $500K in Narcotics Seized

Forty-six individuals were arrested in Virginia on Wednesday in a massive gang bust, leading to the seizure of 36 firearms and over $500,000 in illegal narcotics.

During a press conference, Raj Parekh, the acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, announced the arrests by U.S. Marshals as part of their "Operation Triple Beam."

According to Parekh, many of those who were arrested allegedly committed violent felony offenses, including eight suspects that were wanted for homicide and 17 that were wanted for shootings and firearm offenses.

"Many of these individuals are alleged gang members with extensive criminal histories," Parekh said during the press conference hosted by the Norfolk Police Department. "In addition to these arrests this team removed 36 firearms off our streets and out of the hands of individuals charged with violent crimes along with about half a million dollars worth of illegal narcotics."

Additionally, law enforcement officials seized $38,551 in cash during the operation.

Parekh continued, "gang-related violence often involves gun-related violence, which inflicts a massive and tragic toll on our communities. These individuals who's willingness to use guns to spread fear in our neighborhoods, parks and city streets feed a culture of violence and retaliation."

According to the FBI office in Norfolk, Virginia, Operation Triple Beam was a "joint operation" that combined efforts for several different local, state and federal law enforcement agencies.

In a statement posted to Facebook, Norfolk Police Chief Larry D. Boone said, "A large portion of this operation was conducted in Norfolk, and I couldn't be prouder of the women and men in law enforcement who risked their lives to take violent gang members off our streets."

Boone's statement continued, "Many guns were also seized from those not legally able to possess them. I've said it before and I'll say it again, if we want immediate impact, we must stop the flow of guns. Too many families have been impacted by the pain of gun violence in Hampton Roads."

During the press conference, Boone said the Norfolk Police Department had a "big footprint in terms of those arrested."

"I've done this many, many times before and one of the things I know: we'll do it again, because crime continues," Boone said. "If we didn't get you this time, I want to underscore, we're gonna get you next time."

According to Boone, some of those that were arrested during Operation Triple Beam were accused of shooting several juveniles earlier this month. Boone also noted that some juveniles were among those arrested.

Newsweek reached out to the Norfolk Police Department for further comment but did not receive a response in time for publication.

46 arrested in Virginia gang bust
Forty-six individuals were arrested in Virginia on Wednesday and officials seized 36 guns and around $500,000 worth of narcotics. The arrests were made by U.S. Marshals as a part of "Operation Triple Beam." Larry W. Smith/Getty