RAW VIDEO: 40 arrested in Chandler heroin bust


by Jennifer Thomas


Posted on May 18, 2012 at 6:00 PM

Updated Friday, May 18 at 5:33 PM

CHANDLER, Ariz. -- More than 40 people were arrested in a heroin-related drug bust in Chandler following a yearlong investigation.

More than 32 pounds of heroin and 5 pounds of cocaine were seized during the investigation, dubbed Operation Family Tradition. The street value of these illegal drugs is estimated at $1.75 million.

Beginning in early 2011, the Chandler Police Department's Narcotics Unit investigated a family they believed to be involved in the sale of illegal drugs, according to police spokesman Detective Seth Tyler.

Investigators discovered this family was part of a criminal organization, which was involved in the trafficking of drugs through the state prison system as well as the community. Tyler said this group consisted of street and prison gang members, along with criminals from the illegal drug distribution trade. 

On Thursday, arrest warrants for the remaining outstanding suspects in this case were served throughout the Phoenix area.

During the investigation, more than 40 suspects were arrested on multiple drug- and gang-related charges. Multiple indictments were handed down by the Arizona Attorney General's Office.

"The distribution of heroin and other drugs is one of the lowest forms of crime there is," said Attorney General Tom Horne. "This illicit trade breeds violence, tears apart families and neighborhoods, and rips at the fabric of society by destroying lives. We must vigorously pursue drug traffickers at every level, prosecute them and put them behind bars."

Horne said the investigation into the deaths of two people in their 20s helped lead to the discovery of this drug-selling operation.

The Department of Public Safety, Department of Corrections and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security were part of the joint investigation.