Officials say 86 arrests have been made so far during an operation to fight crime in Miami's Liberty City neighborhood that began after a number of recent shootings including one that left a 4-year-old dead.
In addition to the arrests, which include murder and drug sale charges, 19 firearms have been recovered during Operation Blue and Brown, officials with the City of Miami, Miami-Dade County and other agencies said at a news conference Wednesday morning.
Miami Mayor Francis Suarez, Miami Police Chief Jorge Colina, Miami-Dade County Police Department Deputy Director Freddie Ramirez, Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez, U.S. Attorney Benjamin G. Greenberg, Miami-Dade County State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle, and officials with the FBI, FHP, and ATF all attended the news conference.
"We have to focus in on what’s going on in the northern part of our city to reduce the gun violence," Gimenez said. "Lines and boundaries have been erased between police agencies as part of this operation."
Suarez said there has been a "significant drop" in crime since the beginning of the operation, but they are asking for more federal resources to help deal with the violence.
"Those that suffer so much from violence can see that this is real. They can see action, that we’re out there working together," Fernandez Rundle said.
The operation was launched after recent shootings that claimed the lives of high schoolers and a 4-year-old girl, Nyla Jones, who was shot and killed on Easter Sunday. Within two weeks of that tragedy, four teens were shot and two of them died – including 17-year-old Kimson Green, who attended Northwestern High School and was a month away from being nominated into the National Honor Society.
Officials say the operation focuses on putting more officers on the streets and protecting residents from gang violence.
"The FBI has over 100 investigations in Miami and those include some in the northside area," FBI special agent in charge Robert Lasky said. "We are working together, day-in and day-out, working side-by-side."