Police in Waterbury said the arrests stem from a sweeping investigation that began last September “in response to an increase in heroin overdoses and heroin related deaths” in the city.
Those arrested are mid-level narcotics dealers involved mostly in the sale of heroin, Waterbury police said. They added that the monthslong operation, named “Operation Raw Deal,” included “aggressively conducting investigations into all identified heroin traffickers.”
A total of 51 people have been arrested since Friday, and authorities are still looking for 10 additional suspects, Waterbury Police spokesman David Silverio told CNN.
Thirteen arrest teams launched a series of raids across Waterbury just after dawn Friday. Charges tied to the arrest warrants include sale of narcotics, possession in school zone, conspiracy at sale of narcotics, and firearms violations, according to police.
During the raids, officers seized several guns, more than $15,000 in cash, two cars, “several thousand” bags of sale-ready heroin and half a pound of raw heroin, police said.
“The objective of this extensive investigation was to suppress the trafficking of heroin in Waterbury,” the city’s police said in a news release.
Some 135 detectives, officers, agents and investigators from a variety of Waterbury police units were involved in the arrests, as well as personnel from local, state and federal law enforcement agencies, including the Connecticut State Police, the federal Drug Enforcement Agency and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
Waterbury police said the heroin probe “remains an open and active investigation.”