DPS gang task force arrests 26 in Coconino, Maricopa counties

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By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman

PHOENIX -- More than two dozen people were arrested in Coconino and Maricopa counties following a seven-month investigation into illegal drug sales by street gangs in the Phoenix area.

The Department of Public Safety's Gang and Immigration Intelligence Team Enforcement Mission (GIITEM) served 17 search and arrest warrants on Wednesday.

A total of 26 people were arrested during the operation with additional arrests expected.

Officials said the investigation involved buying drugs from gang members in Flagstaff and Williams who had purchased drugs from criminal street gangs in the Phoenix metropolitan area.

The drugs involved were methamphetamine, cocaine, marijuana, wax (marijuana paste), ecstasy and prescription medications, according to DPS officials.

The FBI, Flagstaff Police Department, Coconino County Sheriff's Office, Williams Police Department, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, ATF, ICE and the U.S. Marshals Service were involved in the investigation.