MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- FBI agents joined Milwaukee police on Tuesday, June 16th in a massive operation aimed at rounding up members of a violent north side street gang. More than 17 people were arrested -- and officers confiscated guns, drugs and even body armor.
The criminal roundup started around 5:00 a.m.
"These are very violent offenders. We are happy to see the results we've recieved today and throughout this investigation," Milwaukee Police Captain Thomas Stigler said.
Those arrested are believed to be part of three different street gangs.
"The 2-9 Taliban and it's affiliation, the 2-9 Money Getters and the 2-9 Hard Hitters," Captain Stigler said.
The early morning arrests are part of a joint task force between Milwaukee police and the FBI -- formed in 2013 after the city saw increased violence last summer.
"The 2-9 Taliban criminal street gang ran its reign of terror last summer," Captain Stigler said.
Seven search warrants were executed at north side homes early Tuesday morning.
Three guns were seized, and FBI agents and police officers found drugs ready for delivery -- including crack cocaine, heroin and ecstasy.
Three bulletproof vests were recovered. Officials believe one of them was stolen from the Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office.
"The individuals that were targeted and arrested in this investigation are identified through information that these officers and special agents received from the citizens in these neighborhoods," Captain Stigler said.
Tuesday morning's roundup involved nearly 200 FBI agents and MPD personnel.
"Let me give fair warning to crime crews out there that this is only the beginning. We've already started work on the next crew we're going to take off the streets of Milwaukee," MPD Assistant Chief Kurt Leibold said.
The teams of officers and FBI agents have arrested more than 50 violent offenders since the inception of the task force in October 2013.