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Philadelphia gun-trafficking probe leads to 22 arrests

Twenty-two men will need legal representation following a flurry of arrests resulting from a lengthy undercover gun-trafficking investigation in Philadelphia. No matter what the investigation reveals, the men charged in the probe are entitled to a rigorous defense from attorneys skilled at representing individuals facing gun charges.

The arrests were announced Aug. 9. The 22 men were reportedly indicted on a variety of weapons offenses. Authorities seized 72 firearms, including military-style semiautomatic rifles, sawed-off shotguns and handguns, according to the The Inquirer. The paper reported that 17 of the men were arrested on the morning of Aug. 9, and at least five had been previously convicted of felonies. Twenty-one of the 22 men live in Philadelphia.

Officials would not provide extensive details of the raids, but they claimed that ammunition and firearms were sold by the men throughout the city, with gun sales occurring in cars, on the street and in private homes. Undercover officers posed as buyers to conduct the firearms transactions.

Authorities claimed the center of one sales ring was a home on the 2000 block of East Atlantic Street in the neighborhood of Kensington. Weapons trafficking in this area allegedly dated back to February 2011. According to a prosecutor, the home's 34-year-old owner sold undercover officers guns in what could be considered "drive-through" service. The homeowner and six other men were charged with illegally selling 43 guns, along with ammunition.

The charges resulted from an undercover operation headed by the Violent Crime Reduction Partnership. It's a task force that brings together resources from Philadelphia police, the local U.S. Attorney's Office and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

While the disposition of these charges will depend on further investigation, all the defendants are entitled to representation by attorneys who thoroughly understand felony gun charges and related issues. Extensive investigations often result in a significant accumulation of evidence, and those accused of a gun crime should do what is legally in their power to fight the charges.

Source: The Inquirer, "Philadelphia gun-trafficking probe nets suspects, weapons," Dara McBride, Aug. 10, 2012

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