Feds confiscate 300 guns in undercover bust
Dozens of criminals were also arrested in the bust
The store, called Metro Mobile Safes, was in operation for about 10 months.
The agents paid out about $150,000 in cash for all of those weapons.
The money came from federal funds designated for undercover activities.
“They put the word on the street that they were interested in buying guns and drugs, and the criminals came knocking,” Yates said.
When asked if Yates was worried about any of the 60 defendants possibly claiming they were entrapped, she disclosed that the store was outfitted with surveillance cameras which captured all of the transactions.
“We’re not concerned about that at all, and I think once the defense attorneys see the
videotapes they won’t really be concerned about that either,” Yates added.
Sweetow said the fake store looked so legitimate, occasionally real customers would come in and want to buy the items the officers were selling. He would not disclose what kind of store it was.
“They did not come to this storefront to sell us
Bibles or Blue Bell ice cream. These are some dangerous folks,” Sweetow said.
Among the nearly 300 guns, 45 were found to be stolen. One was tied to a murder.
Sweetow called the operation a game of patience.
“Unless you just want to pick off
low-level people, to be really effective and impact violent crime in the entire city, you have to take the long eye toward some of this stuff,” he said.
The undercover officers actually had to let the criminals leave the store after all of those transactions so they didn’t risk blowing their own cover.
They went early Wednesday morning to arrest as many as they could find, and they said there are more arrests to come.