JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Nearly 300 people have been arrested in Mississippi as part of a federal, state and local initiative to cut crime.
The U.S. Marshal's Service's Gulf Coast Regional Fugitive Task Force, in a statement Tuesday, said it had recently completed a six-week effort in the Southern District of Mississippi, known as "Operation Triple Beam," resulting in the arrests of 270 people.
Of those arrested, about 90 were gang members, representing various affiliations including the Gangster Disciples, Vice Lords, Simon City Royals, Latin Kings and the Aryan Brotherhood.
Operation Triple Beam also resulted in the seizure of 50 firearms, including military-style assault rifles, illegal narcotics and about $26,000 in cash.
In addition, about 20 people in Simpson, Pearl River, Hancock and Jefferson Davis counties were arrested for sex offender registry violations.
"When law enforcement officers work together, we get results," Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in the U.S. Department of Justice. "The arrest of more than 270 people - including 90 gang members - throughout the Southern District of Mississippi is the result of collaboration between federal officers and our state and local partners.
Law enforcement efforts took place primarily in the cities of Jackson, Gulfport, Biloxi, Hattiesburg, and Meridian and focused on fugitive apprehension investigations, firearms and narcotics investigations, gang-related intelligence gathering, and proactive sex offender compliance initiatives.
U.S. Marshal for the Southern District of Mississippi George White praised the collaboration between the many federal and state law enforcement agencies that took part in the operation.
"This initiative gives the public a small glimpse of what law enforcement does on a daily basis," White said. "It's always a good ending when everyone makes it home safe. This all-hands-on-deck approach was pivotal in the success of this operation. Many of these cases will be prosecuted in federal court. Furthermore, many of these investigations will lead to future arrests in the pursuit of dismantling the criminal element in the Southern District of Mississippi."
The strategy used in Operation Triple Beam has been applied by the U.S. Marshals Service and its law enforcement partners in 47 other cities across the country since 2010.