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Statewide Operation Seizes Weapons from Gang Members

According to reports, the U.S. Marshals Service oversaw the end of a state-wide operation that lasted 90 days and resulted in 180 arrests after targeting a number of violent criminals with alleged gang ties. The operation also resulted in the seizure of more than 30 weapons. The operation, named Operation GRIT (Gang Research, Intelligence and Targeting) 2015, also involved law enforcement officials clearing 189 warrants and confiscating a number of street drugs. Police agencies from multiple counties, including Pinal, Maricopa and Pima, focused on apprehending numerous alleged gang members and associates throughout Arizona, including those who were wanted for felonies such as rape, homicide, dangerous drugs, assault and robbery. Of the 180 arrested, eight were wanted for sex offenses and assaults, 33 for aggravated assault, five for murder and another 28 for violations relating to firearms.

Career Criminals Targeted

Law enforcement agencies released the names of multiple career criminals and gang members that were targeted throughout this operation, including:

  • Roger Tyrone Porter – Arrested in Chandler, AZ, on June 10 on charges of armed robbery and attempted first-degree murder. Porter picked up the victim on June 4, then drove him to an undisclosed area where he was said to have allegedly shot the victim multiple times and threatened that he knew where his family lived.
  • Marco Mejia-Luna – Arrested on July 10 in Tucson, Luna had been wanted for armed robbery in a carjacking and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.
  • Armida Villareal and Johnny Salvador Ruiz – Both of these men were arrested in Phoenix on May 13. They were wanted on charges of participation in a criminal street gang, attempted murder, misconduct involving weapons, assisting a criminal street gang and aggravated assault.
  • Steven Rodriguez – The Tucson Police Department arrested Rodriguez on June 26. He was charged with kidnapping, aggravated assault and armed robbery. Police have also identified him as one of the three men who allegedly committed an armed robbery at a barbershop located in Tucson.

The U.S. Marshals led task forces that were responsible for the arrests of over 110,000 local, state and federal fugitives in the 2013 fiscal year.

Criminal Defense Attorneys Can Defend Your Rights

Drugs charges are among the most common of all criminal allegations. When someone commits a crime involving prescription or illegal drugs, the charges can range from minor misdemeanors to severe felony charges. There are usually three factors that determine the severity of a drug charge: how much of the drug is found in someone’s possession, who is buying or using that drug and whether or not any other crimes have been committed during the drug trade. A criminal defense attorney, such as the Phoenix defense lawyers at Oswalt Law Group, may represent someone who has been charged with a drug crime in order to mitigate the possible penalties. No matter how complicated your drug case may be, the criminal defense lawyers at Oswalt Law Group can provide you with legal representation in order to protect your rights.  

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