Operation Triple Beam nets 209 arrests, nearly $500,000 in drugs seized in Roanoke Valley

Three-month operation started in January

ROANOKE, Va. – More than a dozen law enforcement agencies gathered in Roanoke Monday morning to announce the success of a months-long operation that resulted in hundreds of arrests as well as the seizure of guns and drugs.


Between January and March 2019, Operation Triple Beam resulted in 209 arrests, the seizure of nearly 46 guns as well as $497,340 worth of illegal drugs and $79,821 in cash, announced United States Attorney Thomas Cullen.

The ATF said Monday the guns will go through testing to determine if they link to other crimes and possibly more arrests.  

"Every gun tells a story. This case is not over. We're going to send these guns to the lab. So if there are any other crimes we uncover as part of this operation is not over. We are coming for you," said Ashan Benedict, Special Agent in Charge of the ATF Washington Field Division. 

Operation Triple Beam-Roanoke is modeled after a national initiative in other cities such as Houston, Texas. Those arrested are charged with various state and federal crimes. Some of whom were not even on their radar before this operation started. 


The operation utilized federal, state and local agencies to reduce crime in the Roanoke area by identifying and arresting violent fugitives, targeting unlawful gun possession and narcotics trafficking and collecting intelligence to allow for the systematic removal of those who have committed and are committing crimes in the city of Roanoke, according to Cullen.

"Operation Triple Bream was a unified event, within the Roanoke Valley law enforcement community, aimed at reducing those elements that contribute to violent crime rates," said Acting U.S. Marshal Brad Sellers. "Our success is directly attributable to the cohesive support of our area's law enforcement agencies and the prosecution teams serving those communities. This force-multiplier, team focused, event allowed for greater emphasis towards the common goal of making our communities safe; which I believe we accomplished."

The following agencies took part in Operation Triple Beam:

  • U.S. Marshals Service
  • U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of Virginia
  • Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives
  • Drug Enforcement Administration
  • FBI
  • Virginia State Police
  • High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area
  • Roanoke City Police Department
  • Roanoke County Police Department
  • Salem Police Department
  • Virginia National Guard
  • Virginia Department of Corrections
  • Office of the Commonwealth's Attorney for the City of Roanoke
  • Office of the Commonwealth's Attorney for the County of Roanoke
  • Office of the Commonwealth's Attorney for Salem

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