Richmond County Sheriff’s Office and FBI Take Large Amount of Guns, Drugs, and Criminals Off Street During Operation Grace
ATLANTA—The FBI’s Safe Streets Task Force and the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office announced the results of a three-month operation targeting Violent Crime and Street Gangs in the Augusta area.
Operation Grace focused on disrupting and dismantling dangerous drug and gang organizations in the community while also targeting those that support and enable the criminal enterprises.
Through proactive steps involving dozens of traffic stops and other investigative means, law enforcement officials made 119 felony arrests. Approximately 35 of these people are being referred for potential federal prosecution.
Richmond County Sheriff Richard Roundtree advised that this continues his commitment to reducing gun and gang violence. “Operation Grace is what happens when all of our federal, state, and local partners work together and the numbers speak volumes. What is even more impressive are the hundreds of contacts made with law-abiding citizens in the afflicted areas. We want the citizens to know that you do have a voice and we hear you “loud and clear.”
“Taking these offenders off the streets of Richmond County makes our community a safer place for everyone,” said Keri Farley, special agent in charge of FBI Atlanta. “ The FBI’s Safe Streets Task Force and our law enforcement partners will continue to work non-stop to disrupt these violent gang operations and get illegal weapons and drugs out of their hands.”
Operation Grace included participants from the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office, FBI Atlanta, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, GBI, Georgia State Patrol, U.S. Marshals, Georgia Department of Community Supervision, Augusta Judicial Circuit District Attorney’s Office, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office Southern District of Georgia.
Authorities took 176 guns out of the hands of suspected criminals and recovered a large amount of illegal drugs including:
- More than 1/2 pound of Fentanyl ( including more than 2200 Fentanyl Pills)
- 483 Pills including Oxy, Hydrocodone, MDMA, and others
- 603.6 grams of cocaine
- 1.5 pounds of methamphetamine
- 45.1 grams of heroin
- 33 pounds of marijuana
Law Enforcement officials also seized $214,763.00 in cash, allegedly tied to the illegal acts.
“We have to reach our kids before the gangs do,” shared District Attorney Jared Williams of the Augusta Judicial Circuit. “Operation GRACE is a great step forward and a feat of agency coordination and community engagement.”
“Operation Grace is just the latest example of the success of cooperative law enforcement operations in fighting violent crime in our communities,” said David H. Estes, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia. “It is especially important that we continue to take firearms out of the hands of those who threaten the safety and security of our neighborhoods.”
During Operation Grace, the Georgia State Patrol also issued 252 citations, another 299 warnings, and arrested 41 people for DUI.
The participating agencies in Operation Grace vow to continue to focus in on violent gangs and drugs, disrupt their operations, and make Richmond County a safer place for its citizens.