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Police take down six homes in Valley-wide drug bust

PHOENIX — Valley police have arrested more than a dozen people in a drug sweep over the past 48 hours.

Wednesday morning officers served search warrants to four homes — three in Gilbert, one in Chandler. On Tuesday, Phoenix police served warrants to two homes in the West Valley.

A neighbor who only identified himself as Chris, watched as officers swarmed the rundown home.

“They finally took down our neighborhood little druggie house,” he said.

He and others living in a neighborhood near downtown Gilbert said it was always a problem, but over the past two years, it’s escalated.

“It was like one of those zombie movies,” he explained. “People were walking back and forth down the street. We were finding needles on the sidewalks. It was just a bad element.”

Neighbors complained and Gilbert Police Sgt. Jesse Sanger said that kicked off a seven-month-long investigation.

“We listened to the citizens who kept telling us, ‘Hey, there’s drugs coming and going, stolen property coming and going. We’re seeing it. We’re sick of it,'” Sanger said.

The sting connected dots between six houses used as alleged distribution sites for methamphetamine, marijuana, heroin and stolen guns, as well as other stolen property, said Sanger.

The second home was a cul-de-sac away from the drug house on Bruce Avenue. A child’s Spider-Man curtain in a bedroom window, a large speed boat and newer pickup truck in the driveway made it look less suspicious.

“Inside, officers hauled out 20 bales of marijuana, more stolen guns, and stolen property,” confirmed Sanger.

Similar scenarios played out as search warrants were served to a third home in Gilbert, near Elliot and Gilbert roads, and an apartment in Chandler near Arizona Avenue and Ray Road.

All four busts happened simultaneously to avoid tipping off suspects inside each of the homes early Wednesday.

The day before, Phoenix police served search warrants at two West Valley homes along the 67th Avenue corridor. Both are believed to be connected to the East Valley drug ring.

As of Wednesday afternoon, police arrested 14 people and are questioning several more with expectations of making more arrests.