Gang, narcotics stings yield more than 70 guns - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Gang, narcotics stings yield more than 70 guns

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(Above and Below) Guns confiscated during gang and narcotics sting operations (Above and Below) Guns confiscated during gang and narcotics sting operations

YAKIMA, Wash. - Yakima Police have collected more than 70 guns they say were confiscated during gang and narcotics stings.

Some of the weapons were recovered last week in Yakima and authorities say the stings were mostly gang related.

Others were confiscated during an ongoing narcotics sting operation.

Department of Corrections officers teamed up with police officers in the stings, knocking on the doors of known gang members' homes. Those operations led to some of he gun confiscations and 16 arrests.

"That's the message I'm going to send out to gang members if you're organized," said Yakima Police Chief Sam Granato. "We're coming after you and you're going to go away for a long, long time."

Police say that while convicted felons can't legally buy or possess firearms, many gang members in Yakima are buying them on the streets and from private sellers in town.

If found guilty, police say, those arrested in the sting operations could face between 10 and 15 years in prison.

Officers also found $85,000 in cash and hundred of thousands of dollars worth of drugs during the sting operations.

"The results are great and I think this only encourages us to continue with our strategy, both on a short-term basis and a long-term basis to deal with the gang violence," said City Councilwoman Sonia Rodriguez.

Council members and the police chief will be meeting in the next few weeks to re-evaluate the gang patrols.

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