NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH)– State and Federal law enforcement said Wednesday that violent crime should be down in New Haven and Bridgeport this summer because of a big undercover operation that’s just concluded.
Special agents from the federal division of ‘Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms,’ known as the ‘Green Berets of the A.T.F. have been working in coordination with local and state police in the two cities for the past four months.
Special A.T.F. agent Daniel Kumor noted Wednesday that U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder came to New Haven two years ago to say that violent criminals in city neighborhoods would be a special target and this was what he was talking about.
A total of 73 illegal guns including sawed off shotguns, rifles, silencers and handguns, some with serial numbers obliterated have been removed from the streets of New Haven and Bridgeport in this four month hush, hush operation.
“For four months, over forty ATF agents have worked in lock-step with Bridgeport and New Haven police departments,” said Connecticut U.S. Attorney Deidra Daly.
“The cities of New Haven and Bridgeport were chosen for this operation due to the high rate of violent crime as determined by the FBI’s ‘Unified Crime Reports,” added Kumor.
‘Operation Sampson’ has resulted in the arrest of 154 people; 80 on gun and drug violations and 74 on various state charges. The investigators say they uncovered one gun trafficking ring that used out of state straw purchasers that accepted drugs for guns and a second gun ring that used straw purchasers within the state of Connecticut.
This one operation alone is alleged to have delivered 30 illegal guns into New Haven and Bridgeport this year.
The U.S. Attorney added that ‘Operation Sampson’ should result in less violence in the two cities because the guns are often shared, “that weapon can be used again and again and again in multiple violent crimes.”
In fact she says just one of these guns has already been linked to one murder and five other shootings in the two cities.