WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- Wilmington Police say a six-month investigation has taken a huge stash of drugs and stolen weapons off the street
Five men face a number of charges. Police Chief Ralph Evangelous says investigators believe these suspects were big suppliers in the area.
"Clearly there's a nexus between drugs and violence," Evangelous said.
Police recovered nine guns, including five pistols, a machine pistol, two AK-47s and an AR-15 rifle. Drugs included 55 grams of cocaine, heroin, even 9.5 grams of the rarely seen raw heroin. It's all valued at around $22,000 dollars.
Chief Evangelous says he hopes today sends a stern message to those involved in drug and violent activity.
"We've put together this 30 person task force that kicked off this past Monday. We are going to put you in jail," Evangelous said. "We will put you in jail. The DA has assigned a special prosecutor to work with us, and we will be as aggressive as we have to be within the confines of the law."
That task force, which includes the FBI and US Marshal Service, arrested Jerome Robinson, Michael Walker and Haikem Singletary, all of whom are under $2 million bond. Police also arrested Francis Thompson and Andrew Roland.
"As we see the amount of weapons here, this is a pretty scary sight to think these are out on our streets," Evangelous said.
Three of the four home police raided are next door to one another on Swann Street. Evangelous says it's easier for drug and weapons dealers to hide away in homes left vacant by foreclosure.
"It's much safer in their eyes for them to use a stash house that's vacant, because it's more difficult to tie them to the drugs and or guns," Evangelous said.
Although police say the battle against drugs and stolen weapons in the community may be far from over, this was no doubt a successful day in their fight against crime.
"My hat's off to our narcotics unit for a great job, for the tenacity to stay with this for six months and to help make our streets safer," Evangelous said.