Federal authorities, including the Drug Enforcement Administration and FBI, are working with law enforcement in North Alabama on a federal law enforcement operation.
Police said the operation is being conducted throughout North Alabama Wednesday morning. An FBI spokesman, Paul Daymond, said the operation possibly could go into Southern Tennessee.
Jay Town, the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama, talked with WAAY 31 in October of 2018 about the crackdown.
"If convicted of a federal sentence, there is no sanctuary of parole. That is how you keep our most violent offenders off the streets and put them exactly where they belong, which is in a prison bed," he said in 2018.
He said then that there would be a decline in violent crime.
"What we will find over the next several years is that there will be a decline in violent crime across the country, certainly in the northern district, especially here in Huntsville, and it's going to be because of our efforts, not because we hoped and prayed," he said.
The efforts seem to be working. In Fiscal Year 2018, Town said his office arrested 169 people for drug-related crimes. That's the highest number in a decade.
The number of arrests so far in Fiscal Year 2019 haven't been released yet, but we know the FBI and Drug Enforcement Administration have worked with local police throughout North Alabama in the operation that led to the arrest of nearly 40 people.
Just last month, the Department of Justice shared photos and videos of a covert trip to Sinaloa, Mexico, home of the Sinaloa Cartel.
Town and law enforcement leaders across the state, including Madison County's Sheriff Kevin Turner and District Attorney Rob Broussard, got a firsthand look at the immeasurable amount of narcotics destined for the United States that could end up in North Alabama.
The Department of Justice has sent out nearly a dozen releases this year highlighting arrests and convictions it's made statewide.
In May, the department announced 29 defendants were taken off the streets in North Alabama for having illegal weapons, drugs or for being a convicted felon involved in illegal activity.
We're working to learn when exactly more details about the operation will be released. Federal sentences do not come with the option of parole and federal drug charges can carry a sentence of life in prison.