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Hundreds Arrested, Drugs Seized In Cleveland Joint Law Enforcement Effort

More than 300 people were arrested and thousands of grams of drugs were seized, as well as guns and cash, after a six-week effort of Northeast Ohio law enforcement.

Branded “Operation We-R-CLE,” Cleveland Police partnered with the state Highway Patrol, the U.S. Marshals, the federal Drug Enforcement Agency and others to carry out outstanding arrest warrants for violent criminals in the city.

The effort also included increased check-ins on violent criminals on parole, including those previously convicted for gun crimes or gang involvement, and stepped up patrols in Cleveland neighborhoods.

The targeted efforts began in mid-April and lasted through the end of May, and its results were announced in Cleveland Wednesday.

“We have officers on joint operations day in and day out here in the City of Cleveland,” Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams said. “The difference here was that this is focused, ramped up deterrence.”

U.S. Marshal Peter Elliott explained the joint effort is only the first of 12 rounds of increased cooperation between the local, state and federal agencies to target violent criminals.

“At the end of the day, I promise you, that we and the good citizens of Cleveland are going to be the ones standing,” he said.

Ward 8 Councilman Michael Polensek helped spark the six-week law enforcement initiative after being tired of his district experiencing such high levels of violence, he said.

In his ward, he added, people are noticing the increased patrols and their impact.

“People who care about the neighborhoods see it and those who don’t care about our communities and don’t respect our communities hopefully will fear it,” Polensek said.

Editor's Note: This story has been updated to relect the number of arrests made in the sweep. That number was initially quoted as 28, but law enforcement later clarified the totals.

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