AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) — Sheriff Roundtree is sending a strong message to those involved in gun and gang violence.
“If you carry or use an illegal firearm in Richmond County, you should go to jail. If you are a chronic predator or criminal, you should stay in prison. If you’re a so-called thug or a wannabe thug, we’re going to put you in jail,” said Richmond County Sheriff Richard Roundtree.
It comes as a three-month operation has resulted in multiple arrests and the seizure of dozens of guns and drugs in Richmond County.
“The FBI’s Safe Streets Task Force and the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office have focused this three-month initiative on the most violent offenders; dangerous drugs and gang organizations,” said Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Atlanta Jermaine Deans.
During Operation Grace, investigators detained 119 people and seized 176 firearms and hundreds of grams of drugs, as well as 33 pounds of marijuana.
In light of the recent violence, Sheriff Roundtree said taking illegal firearms off the streets can help prevent future gun violence.
“It’s a very significant impact on these guns here in Richmond County and the devastation they could do if they were left in human hands,” Roundtree said.
Investigators said 55 alleged gang members were also arrested, including members of the Loyalty Over Everything gang linked to the shooting death of 8-year-old Arbra Anthony.
To drug dealers and gang leaders, as the boss said, there are consequences for your actions. Our goal is not to tie people up for a few days, but to shut down businesses at the source,” Deans said.