Special Agent in Charge Matthew J. DeSarno of FBI Dallas says a large-scale operation involving multiple locations and more than 400 law enforcement officers was undertaken Thursday morning to help fight violent crime in the city.
DeSarno said the police action targeted criminal leadership in the city along with other violent offenders. He added that the work done by the task force highlighted the direct coordination between Dallas Police detectives and FBI agents working together to identify the most violent parts of the city and to build investigations around curbing violence in that part of the city.
DeSarno said the general area targeted an area near Fair Park where there had been a significant increase of violent crime related to gangs and drugs from 2018-2020.
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ATF Dallas Special Agent in Charge Jeffrey Boshek II said that the area targeted was the most dangerous area in the region for violent crime and that the action taken Thursday will have a long-term effect on crime in Dallas.
DeSarno added that there were a number of people taken into custody at multiple locations but, because the efforts by federal, state, and local law enforcement were so recent, court documents related to the operation had not yet been unsealed and there was only so much information he could share.
More information is expected to be released soon when those documents are unsealed.
Dallas Chief of Police Eddie Garcia said he was proud of the partnerships between local, state and federal agencies and that the department is not alone in keeping the city and citizens of Dallas safe. He added they will continue to work with federal agencies to deploy their collective strength to keep communities safe.
In addition to Garcia and Boshek, DeSarno was joined in the news conference by acting U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Prerak Shah and DEA Dallas Special Agent in Charge Eduardo Chávez.
Community leaders were pleased with the crackdown.
"In our community we've been praying for that for a long time," said Rev. Todd Atkins, pastor of Salem Institutional Baptist Church. "We know the apartment complexes, we know the houses that are the center for gang activity and drug activity and we've been praying for something big like this to make a big dent."
NBC 5's Scott Gordon contributed to this report.