Task force arrests 88, seizes over 9,000 fentanyl pills in two-week southern Arizona operation

Aug 3, 2023, 4:00 PM | Updated: Aug 4, 2023, 6:23 am

FBI Phoenix Office (Facebook Photo/FBI Phoenix Division)

(Facebook Photo/FBI Phoenix Division)

PHOENIX — Law enforcement arrested 88 people in a massive two-week operation in southern Arizona, the FBI Phoenix office announced Monday.

Operation Clean House, organized by the FBI’s Southern Arizona Violent Crime and Gang Task Force, arrested multiple violent offenders throughout Pima County. The operation ran from July 18-28, authorities said.

Out of the arrests made, four were homicide suspects. Over 9,000 fentanyl pills were seized and 10 firearms were seized in the operation.

What is the Southern Arizona Violent Crime and Gang Task Force?

The SAVCGTF was created in 2020 and was designed to take advantage of the combined resources of several agencies. It also provides the foundation for addressing significant violent crime and gang violence in Southern Arizona, according to the FBI.

The task force includes agents and officers from the Drug Enforcement Administration, Pima County Sheriff’s Department, Tucson Police Department, U.S. Border Patrol, U.S. Customs and Border Protection-OFfice of Professional Responsibility, U.S. Attorney’s Office – District of Arizona and the Arizona Attorney General’s Office.

Operation Clean House was a collaborative effort

Local, state and federal agencies assisted the FBI with the operation including the U.S. Marshals, Pima County Sherriff’s Department, Tucson, Marana, Oro Valley, Pascua Yaqui and Tohono O’odham police departments.

“This operation underscores our invaluable partnerships with law enforcement, and these collaborative efforts will continue to benefit Arizona as we work to eradicate violent criminals in our communities,” Akil Davis, special agent in charge of the FBI Phoenix Office, said in a press release.

Tucson Police Chief Chad Kasmar said violent crime in Tucson is going down. The numbers are not as low as they could be, he said.

“Collaborative law enforcement efforts like this one developed through the Public Safety Partnership (PSP) program are playing a pivotal role in helping to make our community safer,” Kasmar said in the release.

“City of Tucson leadership is grateful for the regional public safety effort and many active community partners that are all contributing to a safer Tucson.”

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Task force arrests 88, seizes over 9,000 fentanyl pills in two-week southern Arizona operation