Phoenix police, DPS investigation breaks up drug ring - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

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Phoenix police, DPS investigation breaks up drug ring

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PHOENIX (CBS5) -

Local and state law enforcement officers said they have broken up an organized drug ring in Phoenix.

Phoenix police Sgt. Chas Clements said 28 people are in custody and more suspects are expected to be arrested in connection with the operation.

Arizona Department of Public Safety Director Robert Halliday said the suspects who are still on the loose are considered extremely dangerous.

Officers served 17 search warrants in Phoenix and one in Avondale as part of an investigation known as "Operation Southland" involving the Phoenix Police Department and Arizona Department of Public Safety, said Phoenix Police Sgt. Tommy Thompson.

Phoenix police said six weapons, 10 vehicles, $27,000 and drugs were seized in the warrants.

The investigation centers on criminal street gangs that Thompson said were responsible for trafficking PCP, crack cocaine, marijuana and methamphetamine in Phoenix and other parts of the state.

Officers from the Phoenix Police Department, Arizona Department of Public Safety, Maricopa County Sheriff's Office, Scottsdale Police Department, Mesa Police Department, Gilbert Police Department and Chandler Police Department assisted in the service of the warrants following a five-month long investigation that started in Pinal County.

"These were members of various street gangs that were involved in several violent acts within the South Mountain community, so the investigation, yes, we did focus on drugs but in the course the people we're arresting are very violent gang members," Clements said.

Copyright 2014 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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