Birmingham - FBI Special Agent in Charge (SAC) Carmen S. Adams today announced over 350 arrests in Operation Clean Sweep, an operation targeting violent offenders, gang members and drug felons across a five-county area in Northeastern Alabama. This coordinated multi-agency action is a combined effort of over 300 law enforcement personnel representing over forty local, state and federal law enforcement agencies.

These arrests stem from an effort to reduce violent crime in the counties of Marshall, DeKalb, Etowah, St. Clair, and Blount. The over 350 arrests and execution of 20 searches occurred over a three-day period from Tuesday to Thursday of this week.

SAC Adams noted the significance of this operation: "Detecting, deterring and defeating current and emerging national security and major criminal threats is the FBI's mission for the 21st century. To achieve this mission, effective partnerships are imperative. Operation Clean Sweep is a perfect example of these partnerships at their best. Violent gang and drug criminal enterprises are no longer an option in Northeastern Alabama. The FBI and our partners will continue to aggressively pursue individuals who threaten the safety of our communities."

Operation Clean Sweep targeted criminal violations involving drug distribution, drug trafficking and illegal possession of firearms; however, various other offenders were caught in the sweep, to include two previously deported illegal aliens - a convicted sex offender and a validated gang member. In addition to arrests were seizures of almost 30 firearms, to include multiple assault rifles and sawed-off shotguns; significant amounts of cash; and, various drugs to include crystal methamphetamine, cocaine, pills, and marijuana. One of the incidental results was a marijuana grow discovered by an Etowah County Sheriff's helicopter conducting flyovers in DeKalb County. The entire crop was destroyed, thus preventing additional drugs from reaching the community. Another aspect of the operation led to the recovery of 16 stolen vehicles, the issuance of over 920 safety-related traffic citations and the impounding of over 180 other vehicles in the five-county region.

"This week's searches and arrests represent one of the largest combined law enforcement operations to remove narcotics distributors, gang members and violent offenders from our streets in recent history," said Assistant Director Kenneth Kaiser, FBI HQ Criminal Investigative Division. "This major effort to target high-profile violent crime and drug areas is a result of significant information-sharing and coordination with our local, state and federal partners, as we are collectively dedicated to restoring safety to our communities across America."

FBI coordinated the operational and intelligence component of Operation Clean Sweep, utilizing resources such as Intelligence Analysts and agents with subject-matter and language expertise, who conducted interviews, sifted through information and developed actionable intelligence.
A number of representatives from participating agencies expressed their support and appreciation for this multi-agency effort:

Steve Marshall, District Attorney, Marshall County: "Operation Clean Sweep has been a tremendous success on multiple fronts. Hundreds of criminals will now be held criminally accountable for their conduct. Beyond facilitating the specific arrests, this operation reflects the positive impact on communities from the cooperative efforts of federal and state law enforcement working in a coordinated and targeted manner."

Scott Walls, Sheriff, Marshall County: "Operation Clean Sweep has been an ongoing project of federal and local law enforcement in Northern Alabama to combat the problem of the importation and manufacture of crystal meth. This operation shows that cooperation between all law enforcement agencies is critical and necessary to combating this problem. I would like to highly commend all agencies for working together to make this a successful operation."

Tim Jollie, Presiding Circuit Judge, Marshall County: "I'd like to thank our two Circuit Judges and two District Judges for helping us process the arrestees on site, which provided a more efficient, organized flow to the operation."

Jimmie Harp, District Attorney, Etowah County: "This operation was very large in scale and took careful planning. Over 120 felony arrests were made in Etowah County alone. The cooperation between the FBI, state and local law enforcement was excellent and the operation has already made a tremendous impact on narcotics and violent criminal activity in Etowah County. I look forward to a continued relationship with the FBI in the attempt to rid Etowah County of drug dealers and violent criminals."

James Hayes, Sheriff, Etowah County: "I am pleased with the success of the recent operation between the FBI, state and local agencies. As a result of the federal funding, we were better able to target the drug-related gang activity occurring in our communities. While this is an ongoing project for us, we are pleased with the cooperation from not only the law enforcement community but the overwhelming public support and encouragement we have received. Our county is safer today and I am committed to our continuing our war on drugs."

Michael E. O'Dell, District Attorney, DeKalb County: "I believe Operation Clean Sweep deserves very high marks. Kudos to USA Martin, Carmen Adams of the FBI, Chris Murphy, Director of the Alabama Department of Public Safety, and all federal, state, and area county and municipal law enforcement officers, who demonstrated a clear and convincing commitment to our effort to rid this community of the scourge of meth. It was truly gratifying to see so many different agencies come together for a common purpose. I hope the message has gone out that we are in this fight for the duration, and working together as we did in Operation Clean Sweep, we WILL be successful in our fight against meth."

Jimmy Harris, Sheriff, DeKalb County: "This is the largest operation in the history of our county, and it's outstanding the way all these agencies have come together and cooperated to make it successful. This operation has let the citizens know that we are serious about drugs and gangs, and that we will use all resources available to us to combat these problems."
Richard J. Minor, District Attorney, St. Clair County: "On behalf of the citizens of St. Clair County, I want to express my sincere appreciation to the federal, state and local law enforcement agencies that participated in Operation Clean Sweep. The level of inter-agency cooperation was outstanding. Those who sell drugs in our community now know their fate - arrest and prosecution to the fullest extent of the law."

Terry Surles, Sheriff, St. Clair County: "I'd like to thank all of the agencies who have cooperated and participated in this week's operation. It's through the significant efforts of everyone involved that we can have a safer St. Clair County."

Thomas Rountree, District Attorney, Blount County: "As is the problem throughout the entire country, the drug epidemic here in Blount County is at an all time high. On behalf of the citizens of Blount County I would like to take this opportunity to express our appreciation to the FBI and all of the assisting law enforcement agencies who participated in Operation Clean Sweep. We are proud of our Blount County officers who worked with the FBI during this time. My office is proud to help in this operation that we believe may result in reducing the number of drug-related crimes, helping to make our county and our homes a better and a safer place to reside. Once again, a special thank you to all of those who have participated in the operation."

Danny L. Morton, Sheriff, Blount County: "The ongoing operation carried on today in Blount County, and subsequent operations in Marshall, DeKalb, Etowah, and St. Clair counties, has resulted in numerous arrests for safety and insurance violations on our highways and roads in this county. A good number of outstanding warrants were also served. The combined cooperation of FBI, Alabama State Troopers and Blount County Sheriff's Office allowed a show of dedication and commitment to the people of our counties. It also shows that all law enforcement agencies from the federal to the state and local agencies can, and will, work together for the betterment of all concerned."

Terry Davis, Chief of Police, City of Boaz: "Everybody worked so well together without having to think about jurisdictional lines or politics. We came together with one common goal and were able to effectively target specific drug dealers throughout Boaz and the five-county region to take them out of commission. During this mission, we were able to shake the tree and get a lot of people off the streets to make our citizens feel safer and more secure in their homes."

Jim Peterson, Chief of Police, City of Guntersville: "I am proud for my department to be a part of an operation of this scope and magnitude. This project could not have been successful without the collaboration of all agencies partnered with the support and aid of the FBI. This effort will have a major impact for this region and Marshall County in particular. The citizens of Marshall County can take pride in the efforts of their law enforcement agencies and can be assured that this will be a continuing effort to identify, target and arrest anyone with ties to illegal drugs at any level."

These efforts were coordinated by the FBI; the National Gang Targeting, Enforcement, and Coordination Center (GangTECC); the National Gang Intelligence Center (NGIC); and, was supported by the FBI's Criminal Justice Information Services Division (CJIS) Flyaway Team, based in Clarksburg, West Virginia, which provided critical on-site rapid identification services.

Close cooperation and support of local, state and federal law enforcement partners also made this operation successful: Alcohol Beverage Control Board (ABC); Alabama Bureau of Investigation (ABI), Huntsville and Jacksonville; Alabama Department of Public Safety (DPS), Birmingham and Jacksonville; Alabama Marine Police; Alabama Park Police.

In Marshall County: Marshall County District Attorney's Office, Marshall County Sheriff's Office, Boaz Police Department; Albertville Police Department, Guntersville Police Department, Arab Police Department, Grant Police Department, Douglas Police Department, Marshall County Drug Enforcement Unit, Marshall County Department of Human Resources.

In DeKalb County: DeKalb County District Attorney's Office, DeKalb County Sheriff's Office, Ft. Payne Police Department, Crossville Police Department, Collinsville Police Department, Rainsville Police Department, Fyffe Police Department, Geraldine Police Department, DeKalb County Drug Enforcement Unit.

In Etowah County: Etowah County District Attorney's Office, Etowah County Sheriff's Office, Gadsden Police Department, Glencoe Police Department, Attalla Police Department, Hokes Bluff Police Department, Rainbow City Police Department, Southside Police Department, Etowah County Drug Enforcement Unit.

In St. Clair County: St. Clair County District Attorney's Office, St. Clair County Sheriff's Office, Springville Police Department, Ragland Police Department, Odenville Police Department, Margaret Police Department, Riverside Police Department, Ashville Police Department.

In Blount County: Blount County District Attorney's Office, Blount County Sheriff's Office, Oneonta Police Department.

In federal partnership were the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA); United States Marshals Service (USMS), Huntsville; Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (ATF), Huntsville; Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE); Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) Police, Guntersville.