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PHOENIX — Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) participated in a five-day, multiagency operation dubbed Operation Summer Shield aimed at enhancing public safety by proactively addressing violent offenders in Phoenix. The Phoenix Police Department headed the takedown.
“There is no doubt that when law enforcement agencies work together, the community benefits. Case in point: Operation Summer Shield,” said HSI Arizona Special Agent Scott Brown. “With over 400 people arrested, including over 200 for felonies ranging from weapons violations to violent crimes, this collaborative effort has impacted the unfortunate rising trend of violent crimes. HSI is fully committed to using every resource available at its disposal to support our community and our law enforcement partners in the effort to reverse this trend.”
The operation took place June 5 through June 9 and resulted in hundreds of arrests, as well as gun and drug seizures. Officials made more than 580 arrests, over 420 of which were for felonies. They also seized nearly 520,000 fentanyl pills and more than 5 pounds of methamphetamine, as well as over 40 weapons from prohibited possessors.
“The city of Phoenix is safer than it was just one week ago because of Operation Summer Shield,” said Phoenix Interim Police Chief Michael Sullivan. “Last week, we rolled out our Crime Reduction Plan to give the department a blueprint for addressing crime. That plan focuses on going after the small percentage of people committing the majority of crime. Operation Summer Shield did exactly that. We targeted the most violent people with outstanding warrants and prohibited possessors.”
Though this was only a five-day operation, planning and coordination took several weeks. Officials met with partners, identified internal resources, and used data driven intelligence to perform records checks on violent offenders with felony warrants.
More than 230 of those arrested had criminal histories that included violence, and 16 absconders of the Department of Corrections were located and brought back to prison. The operation cleared four homicide cases and close to 700 active warrants. Additionally, every gun seized during this operation was found to be in the possession of a prohibited possessor.
“This is an incredible example of what can be done when we all work together and put the safety of our community first,” Sullivan said. “I am proud of the work that everyone a part of this operation did.”
This operation was successful because of the incredible partnerships with our local, state and federal law enforcement agencies. Each of the following agencies played a significant role in Operation Summer Shield:
- Homeland Security Investigations
- Maricopa County Attorney’s Office
- Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office
- Arizona Department of Public Safety
- United States Attorney’s Office, District of Arizona
- Phoenix Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigations
- Phoenix field office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives
- Phoenix Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration
- U.S. Marshals of the District of Arizona
“I want to thank the Phoenix Police Department for making this effort a priority to keep our community safe,” Maricopa County Attorney Rachel Mitchell said. “Now, my team has the opportunity to hold those who committed these crimes accountable to the law.”
“The Marshals Service is proud and honored to serve side-by-side with the professional men and women of the Phoenix Police Department,” said acting U.S. Marshal Van Bayless. “Their unwavering dedication and commitment to the community, while safely removing those who do harm to the citizens of this great city, was evident during this operation and every day on patrol. We look forward to continuing the legacy of support and collaborative efforts our agencies have fostered over the years; staying resolute to reduce violent crime and provide safer neighborhoods for all our families and future generations.”
The Phoenix Police Department encourages the community to be an active participant in the clearance of outstanding warrants. If you know anyone who has an outstanding warrant, please contact the Phoenix Police Department or Silent Witness to remain anonymous.
HSI is the principal investigative arm of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), responsible for investigating transnational crime and threats, specifically those criminal organizations that exploit the global infrastructure through which international trade, travel, and finance move. HSI’s workforce of more than 8,700 employees consists of more than 6,000 special agents assigned to 237 cities throughout the United States, and 93 overseas locations in 56 countries. HSI’s international presence represents DHS’s largest investigative law enforcement presence abroad and one of the largest international footprints in U.S. law enforcement.
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