YONKERS, New York (WABC) -- Twelve gang members with extensive criminal histories connected to drugs, murders, and stabbings have been arrested in Yonkers, police said.
The Yonkers Police Department began arresting people last Tuesday, targeting street-level drug dealers, including members of several local street gangs, officials said.
In addition to the 12 arrests, two others are being sought by police.
Undercover officers were used in the six-month investigation.
Officials say the defendants engaged in illegal drug sales, including crack cocaine in and around the Nodine Hill Area, specifically the Elm Street corridor.
Combined, the defendants have a criminal record of over 100 arrests, over 50 convictions (they have over 20 open cases), and 5 illegally possessed firearm arrests.
Authorities said many of them have been present or connected to group violence and violent incidents in the area, including the shooting of a Yonkers Police detective in a bodega deli; the April 2021 shooting of a 6-year-old child on Ash Street, and the June 2021 drive-by shooting on Elm and Oak Streets, where five people were shot.
"This joint operation should send a clear message to those seeking to commit crimes of any kind in our city - we will find you and ensure you are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law," said Mayor Mike Spano. "The vast majority of people in Yonkers are good, honest, hardworking individuals who want no part in the senseless violence these men seek to cause in our communities, and it will not be tolerated."
Operation: Elm Sweep is a collaborative law enforcement effort between the Yonkers Police Department, the Westchester County Department of Public Safety, and the Violent Criminal Enterprise Bureau of the Westchester County District Attorney's Office