At least 13 arrested in drug investigation; Gilbert police 'removing long term problems'

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By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

GILBERT, Ariz. -- Police arrested a total of 13 people, 10 of them Wednesday morning, while serving a series of search warrants in several locations over the past 24 hours.

"Right now at about 500 pounds of marijuana, and just over two pounds of heroin, stolen guns, stolen property, methamphetamine," said Gilbert Police Sgt. Jesse Sanger.

Aerial video from Chopper 3 showed a large police presence, including SWAT officers, in a neighborhood northeast of Gilbert and Elliot roads.

Video showed officers loading a variety of items, including several bicycles and an overhead projector, onto a truck.

Police also were at a second scene near the Gilbert Senior Center, a third location near Arizona Avenue and Ray Road in Chandler, and a fourth location northeast of Gilbert and Elliot roads.

The four warrants are tied to an ongoing drug and stolen property investigation. Wednesday's operations led to 10 arrests at four locations.

In addition, two search warrants were served in Phoenix Tuesday. Three people were arrested.

Investigators say more arrests are likely.

Sgt. Jesse Sanger said they are not ready to name those who were arrested or discuss how they are all connected just yet because it is an ongoing investigation.

According to the Gilbert Police Department, officers from Chandler, Mesa and Tempe assisted with the operations, which a tweet described as "removing long term problems out of central Gilbert neighborhood."

Police say information and support from the community were essential to this investigation, which started seven months ago.

As for why the investigation took so long, Gilbert Police told 3TV that was on purpose.

"We wanted good solid charges on the targets that were identified so we can try and solve the problem instead of just curbing it for a little while," said Sgt. Sanger.

Neighbors who did not want to show their faces on camera told 3TV they were glad to see police cleaning up the area.

No injuries were reported at any of the search operations.