DEA: Hundreds arrested and millions in drugs, guns, cash seized

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BOSTON (WCAX) Hundreds of people are under arrest and millions of dollars' worth of drugs were seized before they could be sold across New England. The Drug Enforcement Administration is showcasing the results of its latest drug operation that spanned six states: Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island.

Our Celine McArthur went to Boston to show you what this means for our region.

This all happened in a two-week span. The DEA says it brought all of its resources to bear. We asked them what that means and what impact this big operation is having on the drug crisis in Vermont and New Hampshire.

First, a look at the big picture. In a two-week sweep, DEA task forces-- which include state and local law enforcement-- arrested 645 people.

They seized a lot of drugs-- more than 75 kilos of fentanyl, cocaine, heroin, meth and marijuana, and 7,800 fentanyl pills. The DEA says that would sell on the streets for about $2.5 million.

They also got 51 firearms and $1.2 million in cash.

Seven-hundred law enforcement officers, including 200 DEA agents and 500 state troopers and local law officers, took part.

As of now, that's all they will tell us. The DEA isn't giving us the statistical breakdown for Vermont and New Hampshire or any details about the arrests or seizures.

Reporter Celine McArthur: Clearly, a lot of money and a lot of drugs were seized. But when viewers are watching at 5 and 6, they're going to ask a few things. They're going to say there were no names, no pictures, no addresses, no charges, so we don't know if they're dealers or users or both. No indication if they're still behind bars, no details about the origin of the weapons. Very little information about the breakup of where the drugs were-- are we talking about a few big dealers or a lot of small dealers. So they're asking, what is the empowering information? What is the takeaway for the viewers?
Special Agent in Charge Jon Delena/DEA: You know, I think it's a couple of things. First of all, 'Hey, we're out there.' And by we, I mean the collective we, our partners, especially. And we're trying to do whatever it takes to make our communities safer. We live in all these communities.

We will keep working to get you more information on this and a better picture of what that means for your community.