Residents continue to react to massive drug raid - WBRC FOX6 News - Birmingham, AL

Residents continue to react to massive drug raid


Stacks of cash and multiple weapons were laid out at a Holyoke police press conference hours after they were seized from an apartment building at 556 S. Bridge St. - a known hotbed for crime.

"My narcotics unit over the course of the years has really raided every apartment in that building," said Holyoke police Chief James Neiswanger.

Local, state and federal police cars swarmed city streets around 6 a.m. Friday and helicopters flew overhead as law enforcement carried out Operation 60 Minutes.

Eleven were arrested in Holyoke, some part of the notorious La Familia gang. Several others were arrested in Springfield and Chicopee.

At an afternoon press conference, Neiswanger had a warning for remaining gang members.

"Make no mistake, if someone elects to become a gang member and deal drugs and guns in Holyoke, my officers and their partners are coming after them," he said.

Even with the stacks of cash, drugs and weapons off the streets, some residents remain skeptical of the outcome of these raids.

"What effect will it actually cause? Because you shut one place down, the next one will open right back up, that's pretty much how it's always been," said Holyoke resident Luis Robles.

Resident Richard Recoulle actually moved out of Holyoke 10 years ago because of its reputation.

"I never thought I would be back because of the crime and everything going on," he said.

But because of raids like the one Friday, he came back.

"There's a lot of hope for Holyoke," Recoulle said.

Neiswanger says that more operations like the one Friday will follow.

"My officers and our partners' presence will be strongly felt throughout the city including down in south Holyoke," he said.

The arraignments for those arrested started Friday morning.

Heroin and cocaine trafficking were among the top drug offenses.

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