Illegal drugs linked to Chattanooga gun violence

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Reported by: Erik Avanier
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Updated: 11/04/2013 6:34 pm
CHATTANOOGA, Tennessee(WDEF) - Five kilograms of cocaine with a street value of $25,000 per kilo is lot of drugs and money to fight over so taking the drugs and some of the most violent individuals with prior criminal records off the streets is something authorities believe will put a dent in Chattanooga's gun violence.

Authorities said the 32 people indicted on illegal drug charges are some of the most dangerous people taken off the streets of chattanooga because their drug trade was at the heart of much gun violence.

"They rob each other. They steal from each other and they kill each other over the drugs and the money," said Chattanooga public safety committee chairman Moses Freeman.

"There's too much violence on our streets and that's been associated with drugs and the drug trade. what we've been able to do through these indictments is to tie down people who are involved in this drug trade and say that and the violence both need to stop," said Chattanooga mayor Andy Berke.

The arrests not only took illegal drugs and alleged violent offenders off the streets, it also removed illegally obtained firearms.

"I can tell you that the people charged with firearms could not legally possess them because of prior felony convictions," said assistant U.S. attorney Chris Poole.

Berke said we may not see an immediate end to violent crime scene linked to illegal drug trade but Monday's indictments is a step in the right directions.

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