KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Sixty-one people are being charged with federal firearms violations and drug trafficking crimes in the largest federal roundup ever conducted in Kansas City, Mo.
The nearly year-long undercover operation happened in partnership with the Kansas City No Violence Alliance on Friday. Members of the alliance are going door-to-door warning others that violent crime won't be tolerated.
U.S. Attorney Tammy Dickinson says federal agents are taking dozens of violent criminals off the streets and hundreds of illegal guns out of circulation.
Forty-eight of those indicted already have been arrested or are in custody facing other criminal charges. Authorities released photos of fugitives who are actively being sought by law enforcement. These 13 individuals are all wanted on gun or drug charges. If you recognize anyone in the photos accompanying this story or can help police find them, call the TIPS Hotline at 816.474.TIPS.
Authorities are pointing to this huge roundup of accused criminals as just the beginning of the benefits the city will reap from the No Violence Alliance.
"I will tell you that Kansas City is a safer place today as a result of this operation," Dickinson said. "This undercover operation targeted armed criminals and violent felons who carry guns. Two-thirds of these defendants have prior felony convictions and more than half of them are on either state or federal probation and parole."
During this investigation federal agents seized 222 firearms and found that some of them had been used in multiple violent crimes, including unsolved homicides. Some of the guns seized had been reported stolen. Agents also seized cocaine, metheamphetamine and other narcotics.
Authorities expect this to have a big impact on gun crime in Kansas City, at least in the short term. That's why members of NoVA are now out in neighborhoods preaching their message. They know there's a void in the criminal network now, that others may step up and try to fill. They want to warn those who may choose the wrong path that they could end up just like the 61 people indicted on Friday.