Video courtesy: The footage was provided by the U.S. Marshals
MEMPHIS, Tenn. — With violence and drug-related crimes still on the rise in Memphis, the U.S. Marshals joined forces with a handful of agencies, including the Memphis Police Department and the Shelby County Sheriff's Office, to take a stand.
“The people of West Tennessee need to know that we care about their safety. It is the highest priority for all of us," said U.S. Attorney Mike Dunavant. "We will use all of our resources to protect them.”
The two-week operation dubbed “Bluff City Blues” yielded a massive haul – 214 arrests as well as 28 firearms and more than $17, 000 seized. Authorities said the most unique part of the effort was targeting some of the most dangerous, aggressive criminals in the area.
“We look at the worst of the worst," explained Mike Quarles with the U.S. Marshals. "If we have murder warrants, we’re looking at home invaders, we’re looking at trigger pullers. We’re not going after people for traffic tickets.”
Officials want Memphians to feel safe voicing their concerns or working with officers.
"I want the people in those neighborhoods who obviously know that people were arrested; I want them to know that we’re doing that to protect them. They can come forward, they can feel comfortable and safe about talking with us about further information," said Dunavant.
Moving forward, law enforcement is optimistic about taking down even more of these high-level offenders.
"We’ve still got a lot of work to do based on intelligence that we gathered from this operation but I think in the next year, you’ll probably be seeing something even bigger than this."