OPERATION IRON GRIP - US ATTORNEY - ANTI VIOLENCE - 8-9-19 .jpg

The U.S. Attorneys office and law enforcement give an update on Operation Iron Grip, which is an anti-violence effort in Louisville. 

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A joint effort between the Louisville Metro Police Department and federal authorities has resulted in the arrests of 57 people and more than 130 charges — all in connection with violent crime.

Officials say "Operation Iron Grip" took place during a two-week period from July 22 to Aug. 2 and involved the Louisville Metro Police Department, the U.S. Marshals Service, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It was created specifically to target violent crime in Louisville.

"There is a sense, and has been over the last several weeks in this community, a sense of fear," U.S. Attorney Russell Coleman said. "It was important on behalf of federal law enforcement that we come together and demonstrate, one, very visibly, that we are engaged." 

So far this year, there have been 57 homicides in Louisville, and authorities said it will take a sustained cooperative effort involving all levels of law enforcement to reduce the violence and make the city more safe.

"It will be an opportunity for victims of these crimes to potentially see justice," LMPD Chief Steve Conrad said.  

As a result of the joint operation, authorities said Friday that 57 people were arrested (including 49 who were wanted on warrants, seven who had new felony charges and one misdemeanor arrest). Three people were assigned federal detainers. In total, there were 136 charges.

"What we're doing is not about numbers," Coleman said. "It's about targeting the most violent offenders."

Police seized 13 firearms, nine of which came from convicted felons. Four of the guns had been reported stolen, and one was found on a juvenile.

"We have a problem with very violent juveniles in this city," Coleman said. "We need to say that out loud. We need to own that."

Authorities said 79% of the people arrested are still in custody, including three transported to prison.

"This effort was squarely focused on at least these dangerous people in these dangerous locations," Conrad said.  

"Operation Iron Grip is another example of resourceful teamwork between federal and state law enforcement agencies and prosecutors working to protect our community," Jefferson County Commonwealth's Attorney Tom Wine said in a statement. "Individuals, especially convicted felons with firearms who have avoided criminal prosecution, will now be held accountable for their criminal charges."

Coleman said the operation was also designed to show support for LMPD, which is trying to fight the violence in the midst of budget cuts.

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I cover a range of stories for WDRB, but really enjoy tracking what's going on at our State Capitol. I grew up on military bases all over the world, but am a Kentuckian at heart. I'm an EKU alum, and have lived in Louisville for 30 years.