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Crime Trackers: Operation GRIT 2015 targets worst of the worst - KVOA | KVOA.com | Tucson, Arizona

Crime Trackers: Operation GRIT 2015 targets worst of the worst

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A roundup targeting violent fugitives with ties to street gangs, resulted in 180 arrests in three counties, including Pima Count. A roundup targeting violent fugitives with ties to street gangs, resulted in 180 arrests in three counties, including Pima Count.

TUCSON- A roundup targeting violent fugitives with ties to street gangs, resulted in 180 arrests in three counties, including Pima County.

The U.S. Marshals led 'Operation GRIT 2015' with the help of federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies.  They have been working on the operation since May.  The U.S. Marshals said GRIT stands for Gang, Research, Intelligence, and Targeting.

News 4 Tucson's Crime Tracker Lupita Murillo rode along with agents as they searched for suspects involved in such crimes as homicide, robbery, and rape.  The targets in the operation are considered the worst of the worst.

During a briefing between Arizona Department of Public Safety gang's unit known as GITEM and the U.S. Marshals, the officer told the others about their target. 

"He has a prior history of weapons.  He was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and misconduct involving a weapon, a prohibitive possessor.  He's got a criminal history of assault criminal damage."

U.S. Marshal Daniel Leyva said they are building their database in law enforcement that is going to make their job safer and make the community safer for the people who live in them.

During the three month operation, officers seized $215,000, 50 pounds of marijuana, an AK-47, Glock 17, Smith & Wesson 40 Caliber, Benelli M4 shotgun, Glock 19, and Bushmaster AR-15.

Leyva said there is danger during these operations. 

"These homes are sometimes, maybe booby trapped. There are hidden cubby holes, there are different ways that they try to hide evidence and their contraband."

Officers are also on the lookout for other things when they approach the houses.

"You gotta watch the back, because that's where they are going to run. So unfortunately some of these houses they have dogs back there, they have wire back there, they have surveillance cameras, a lot of things we have to take into consideration."

But at the end of the day, the goal is make the arrests, to protect the public, and to do their job safely so the officers can ultimately go home at the end of the night.

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