BALTIMORE (WJZ)– Guns, drugs and cash were all seized by police while busting a gun distribution ring in Baltimore and Baltimore County.
Weijia Jiang has more on the suspects in custody and the operation they are accused of running.
Detectives say a man arrested on a handgun charge back in January led them to the dangerous gun ring, and now police are aggressively looking for others.
The massive gun distribution ring was busted in Baltimore City.
“This individual was responsible for putting out a lot of weapons on the streets, and here we are. We have him in custody. In fact, we arrested three people,” Det. Donnie Moses of the Baltimore City Police Department.
Ronald Van Price Jr., 37, Keith James, 34, and Jessica Correa, 24, face a federal indictment.
On Thursday, police raided four homes and a storage facility linked to the trio.
Linda Ringo– who lives on the same block as one of the houses– is relieved, though not surprised.
“I don’t want to lie to you– in any part of town, if you’ve got the money, you can get the right connection. It’s a numbers game,” she said.
Investigators seized 16 weapons and ammunition, two ounces of raw heroin, $8,000 in cash, and bulletproof vests. On the street, it would have brought in $30,000.
Police have not confirmed where the guns came from but say many are smuggled in from Virginia and North Carolina.
The investigation started shortly after the police commissioner sat down with WJZ for an in-depth interview to talk about what he emphatically calls the root of crime.
“Bad guys with guns,” Commissioner Fred Bealefeld of the Baltimore City Police Department.
Bealefeld gave a preview of the very tactics used in the case.
“Our strategy is break apart these networks and supply chains that are the fuel to the violence in our city,” Bealefeld said.
In fact, the raids are part of a new initiative to get firearms off the streets.
Through the weekend, officers are going after similar rings.
“If you can’t find who’s giving out the guns, there’s no way it’s going to go away,” Ringo said.
This campaign to seize guns for the next few days is citywide, though police have not released too many details as much of their work is undercover.
Federal authorities may be expanding the gun ring investigation beyond Maryland’s borders.