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MILFORD Conn. (Reuters) - Connecticut authorities on Wednesday announced a sting operation aimed at curbing violent crime in Bridgeport and New Haven that netted dozens of illegal weapons and resulted in the planned prosecution of more than 150 people.
The four-month operation uncovered an alleged trafficking ring that dealt in narcotics and firearms, said the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
It was aimed at stemming violence in Bridgeport, the state's most populous city, and New Haven, among the state's largest, the agency said.
“The citizens of New Haven and Bridgeport have been victimized by violent criminals who act with total disregard for public safety and our goal is to take these offenders off the streets, period," said Daniel Kumor, Special Agent in charge of the ATF's Boston Field Division, in a statement.
New Haven ranked No. 2 and Bridgeport was No. 6 on a list last year of the nation's most dangerous small cities, according to Law Street Media, based on FBI statistics.
Bridgeport in particular struggles with street violence and gang activity, according to the online law and public policy site.
The operation resulted in the seizure of more than 73 illegal firearms and the planned prosecution of 154 people on state and federal charges, authorities said.
Editing by Ellen Wulfhorst and James Dalgleish