WASHINGTON (ABC7) — Ten people were arrested and more than 80 pounds of heroin was seized in a large-scale drug bust in Washington, according to the Metropolitan Police Department.
The confiscated drugs have an "estimated street value of $4 million," according to police.
During a Tuesday afternoon press conference outside MPD Headquarters, Chief Cathy Lanier said officers with her department had teamed up with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations, the U.S. Marshals Service and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service for a months-long undercover probe.
During the course of their covert work, police discovered drug operatives in India, Africa, and elsewhere, were allegedly shipping heroin via commercial mail providers. When the heroin arrived in the United States, it was distributed to a number of cities including Washington, D.C.
The D.C. allotments were predominantly sold along the Benning Road corridor, Chief Lanier remarked.
On Monday, federal, state and local officers served search warrants at four addresses, leading to the discovery of 40 kilos (88 pounds) of heroin. They arrested ten individuals allegedly connected to the heroin drug ring; all ten are D.C. residents. Police also uncovered personal and commercial bank accounts used to funnel narcotics payments, police stated.
"Ironic, I just testified today on [Capitol] Hill about the impact of synthetic drugs and heroin, and what impact that's having on our communities all around the country," Chief Lanier remarked. "I think the efforts and coordination of the federal, state and local law enforcement in these cases sends a clear message that we are not going to give up on this battle."
Although safety has historically been an issue along the Benning Road corridor, Chief Lanier stated that crime has spiked in recent months. She expressed hope that this narcotics bust would cause illegal activity in the area to dwindle.
MPD has not identified the ten people arrested, however, they say federal charges will be filed.