Updated Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2018
Forty-five people have been arrested in the Charlotte area over the past two days in what officials are calling a "coordinated takedown" of violent offenders.
The arrests happened around the city in raids that began at 6 a.m. Monday. They came after a joint federal, state and local investigation that started eight months ago, according to Dana Washington, an assistant U.S. attorney.
Fifteen of the suspects are facing federal gun and drug charges. The remainder are being charged in state court.
CMPD chief Kerr Putney said the arrests were related to a recent announcement in Charlotte by Attorney General Jeff Sessions of a "re-invigoration" of what's called Project Safe Neighborhoods.
"This is a recommitment. This is us as partners saying we're not going to let this die off, the work's too valuable. As long as people are committing crimes, we’re going to continue to lock people up and hold them accountable," Putney said.
The investigation involves a task force that includes CMPD, the U.S. Attorney's Office, state Department of Public Safety and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives.
Special Agent Wayne Dixie of the Charlotte ATF office says most of the suspects had previous convictions, including four for murder.
"They've been arrested over 1,100 times. They have 270 convictions, and they have over 100 tours in prison,” Dixie said.
Added Washington, of the U.S. attorney's office: "The collateral damage of drug trafficking where drugs and guns are in the community we see time and time again. It leads to homicide, robberies, assaults, and unfortunately all of those in our community end up being impacted."
Dixie said those arrested this week are among 56 people indicted in the investigation. Putney says more arrests are expected.
UPDATE: This post has been updated to reflect the arrest of one more suspect on Feb. 13.