Sixteen people have been charged with a variety of illegal drug distribution charges as part of a law enforcement operation targeting troubled inner-city Miami neighborhoods.
U.S. and local officials said Wednesday the suspects were charged in a 42-count federal grand jury indictment. The charges involve conspiracies to distribute heroin, cocaine, crack cocaine and marijuana.
Miami U.S. Attorney Wifredo Ferrer says the operation was part of an effort to reduce violence in the city's Overtown and Liberty City neighborhoods. Ferrer says drug trafficking rings are usually synonymous with violent crime.
Authorities also said they would seek forfeiture of at least $45,000 in cash seized during the arrests as well as several vehicles used by the suspects. They all face lengthy prison sentences if convicted.