School Closings
Here’s how you can help those affected by the California wildfires

York County targeted as ‘ground zero’ for the war on violent crime

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

SPRINGETTSBURY TOWNSHIP, YORK COUNTY, Pa. -- Police catch nine people in an effort to get guns off the streets of York County to stop the illegal trafficking of firearms.

Several federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies joined forces to form what they're calling Operation Gun Grabber.

York County in south central Pennsylvania is at the center of this investigation.

Operation Gun Grabber targets York County as 'ground zero' for the war on violent crime.

US Attorney Bruce Brandler said "our office has been working with the York County District Attorney's office for years addressing this problem."

York County District Attorney Tom Kearney said "we're at a crossroads here, between Philadelphia, Baltimore. We believe that the vast majority of drugs that come into the eastern seaboard, do so through the Baltimore ports, and we see it here in York right up 83."

Operation Gun Grabber brings several law enforcement officers together in an on going investigation.

York County Chief Deputy Assistant District Attorney Dave Sunday said "that goal, is to get heroin traffickers, drug traffickers, and violent criminals off the street."

"There are categories of individuals who are prohibited from possession of firearms, for instance if you're convicted of a prior felony, you're not allowed to possess a firearm," Brandler said.

The goal is to get semi-automatic Uzi machine guns, firearms with silencers, lazer sights, semi-automatic style weapons, and high-capacity magazines off the street.

"This is not hunting, or sporting purpose, rifles and shotguns. These types of weapons are meant for one purpose, to kill people," Brandler said.

"We've not only removed 11 firearms off the streets of York, we've taken nine individuals of those same streets who desire to illegally traffic fire arms and narcotics," Sunday said.

Nine arrests and 11 weapons may not seem like a lot, but for Operation Gun Grabber, its a start.

"Whenever you take a fully automatic uzi sub machine gun off the streets, that in itself, is a major, major victory," Sunday said.

"If we stop one death, because of what was done here in the past four months, that is significant, certainly if it's your child," Kearney said.