CENTRAL ISLIP, Suffolk County (WABC) -- The U.S. Marshals arrested 116 alleged criminals on Long Island this month in an effort to get them off the streets before the summer months, which typically bring an increase in crime.
"There are segments of society today who have turned their backs on the police," U.S. Marshals Commander Ed McMahon said in a press conference Thursday announcing the arrests. "But we're there to show the communities that we haven't turned our backs on them."
The arrests were part of Operation Long Island Wave, which took place over a two-week period from May 2 to May 13.
The people arrested were wanted for offenses including homicide, attempted murder, narcotics, weapons offenses, robbery and assault.
"Over 100 really, really bad individuals were locked up in this operation," Suffolk County Undersheriff Kevin Catalina said. "That's 100 people who might not be victims of crimes, victims of shootings, victims of this horrible drug epidemic that we're facing."
Marshal for the Eastern District Vincent DeMarco said 69 of the people arrested were part of gangs, including the Crips, Bloods, Latin Kings and MS-13.
"The operation may be over, but we are not going away," DeMarco said.
More than 200 officers participated in the operation, which took months of preparation.
Half of the officers came from local police departments who were deputized as federal marshals for the operation.
Nassau County Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder said crime in Nassau County has gone down in the past two weeks since the arrests.
"You take bad guys off the street, problems go away," Ryder said.
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