Skip to main content
Press Release

Hundreds arrested, dozens of firearms seized, 60 kilograms of cocaine and five kilograms of heroin seized as part of "Operation We Are CLE"

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Ohio

The U.S. Marshals Service and Drug Enforcement Administration, working with federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, recently completed the first phase of “Operation We Are CLE,” resulting in the arrests of more than 200 people, confiscation of 36 firearms and seizure of 60 kilograms of cocaine and nearly five kilograms of heroin in Cleveland.

“This operation embodies the best of Project Safe Neighborhoods – working with federal and state agencies and local police to tailor a strategy that makes the most sense for specific areas,” d U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio Justin E. Herdman said. “This operation got a lot of dangerous people, firearms and dangerous drugs off the streets of Cleveland.”

U.S. Marshal for the Northern District of Ohio Peter J. Elliott said: “The US Marshals have a long history of working with Cleveland Police and other agencies to address our community’s most pressing crime issues. We are glad we were able to hold dozens of known fugitives accountable as summer starts and people go out to enjoy their city.”

From April 23 through May 18, law enforcement conducted coordinated activities focused on specific neighborhoods in Cleveland. Activities included searches for people with outstanding warrants, particularly post-release control violators, vice operations, vehicle checkpoints, traffic enforcement, and other tactics.

During that time period, firearms arrests were up 175 percent over the same period last year in a targeted police district in Cleveland. Homicides were down 20 percent citywide during the first phase of Operation We Are CLE.

It is anticipated that many of these arrests and seizures of drugs and firearms will result in charges being filed in U.S. District Court in Cleveland.

The Marshals Service, working with Cleveland police, targeted and arrested violent fugitives. The Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Department did address checks on registered sex offenders. The FBI and Cleveland Division of Police worked together to identify and target criminals involved in firearms violence. The DEA seized 60 kilograms of cocaine, approximately 4.7 kilograms of heroin, 100 grams of a fentanyl/carfentanil mixture, seven firearms and $271,000 in cash.

Participating agencies include: the U.S. Marshals Service, DEA, the Cleveland Division of Police, the Ohio Adult Parole Authority, the Ohio State Highway Patrol, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Office, the Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority, the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office.

The second phase of the operation is currently underway.

Updated June 14, 2018

Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Violent Crime