(CHICAGO) (WLS) -- Authorities have arrested more than two dozen alleged gang members following a drug and weapons bust in Chicago.
The 25 individuals were arrested after they were caught in undercover stings for allegedly trying sell guns illegally and also trying to obtain more than 5 kilograms of cocaine by ripping off a suspected drug house.
That suspected drug house turned out to be a fictitious one set up by members of the FBI's Joint Task Force on Gangs and by officers from the Chicago Police Department.
Thursday morning, authorities displayed the majority of the 65 weapons confiscated by investigators, including three AK-47s, a .50-caliber magnum handgun and several sawed-off shotguns.
The investigation began roughly around January 2009. With recent violence targeting Chicago police officers, authorities say the collective effort by the state and federal officials is a shift and shows the focus now to pursue aggressively the sale of illegal guns and the gang bangers who traffic and use them.
"There was an increasing trend over the years of police officers being involved as victims of battery. Based on our analysis between 2007 and 2009, the number of reported incidents of battery against police officers in the city of Chicago increased approximately 19 percent," said Special Agent in Charge of Chicago FBI Robert Grant.
" If you look back in two months, we have had three police officers murdered. That's unacceptable. One was killed in a parking lot of a police facility. Our guys had gone through a lot," Chicago Police Department Supt. Jody Weis said.
Authorities say three individuals involved in the investigation did manage to elude capture, which has triggered a nationwide manhunt for them.
The Cook County state's attorney says the individuals arrested will face state charges, as well.
According to authorities, the investigation and arrests resulted from targeting one well known street gang that has its base on Chicago's Southwest Side.
Evelyn Holmes July 22, 2010
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