Federal agents infiltrated the vast Phoenix drug market with a team of all-stars, handpicked from around the nation. They came, says the Arizona Republic, prepared to take on the rising tide of drug-related violence, where armed criminals are ready to kick in doors, rob armed drug-runners, and shoot anyone who gets in the way. Their plan: Go undercover, lure the violent crooks by soliciting them to rob drug dealers, then take them down.
In the end, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agents arrested 70 people, seized about $39,000 and took dozens of guns and other weapons off the street. What surprised agents the most was the number of people they found ready to join complete strangers for robbery and murder in Phoenix’s drug underworld. “This proved what we know to be true,” said U. S. Attorney Dennis Burke. “When drugs and distribution of drugs are in our neighborhoods, violent armed criminals follow behind them.”