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INDIANAPOLIS – A month-long investigation into illegal guns and drugs on Indianapolis’ east side led to criminal charges against seven men this week.

The bust started with an anonymous tip of drug dealing at a home on Catherwood Avenue and a second home on East 24th Street.

The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department East District Violence Reduction Team began a lengthy undercover investigation.

As their name implies, the goal of the IMPD Violence Reduction Team is to reduce the potential for violence by cracking down on illegal guns and getting repeat violent offenders off the streets.

“The officers involved brought many resources to bear in this case,” said IMPD captain Joe Finch. “They worked that for several days and nights, weeks even.”

According to the affidavit, in mid-December IMPD began their surveillance and noticed 10 to 15 people visit the home on Catherwood to buy drugs in just the first hour.

After three weeks of undercover work, IMPD SWAT officers raided both homes simultaneously and seized a table full of drugs, including meth, cocaine, heroin and marijuana.

Officers also seized several firearms.

Police arrested 32-year-old Milton Robinson, 31-year-old William Bradley II, 35-year-old Lezerrick Nowling, 23-year-old Dewayne Ingram, 24-year-old Jabril Scruggs, 38-year-old Dewayne Battle and 34-year-old Parish Watts.

All seven suspects are now facing various drug and weapons charges.

“We’re taking the right people off the street. We’re getting guns off the streets and drugs off the streets. Hopefully those things make it safer on the east side,” said Finch.

Captain Finch, who helps oversee IMPD’s East District Violence Reduction Team, believes getting illegal guns and drugs out of the hands of people who shouldn’t have them can save lives.

For example, last month two men were shot to death on Westfield Way. Court records claim the suspect in that case, Camran Perry, killed both victims following a $20 drug deal involving marijuana.

“You know a lot of people overlook marijuana today, but marijuana is involved in a lot of our violence,” said Finch. “At the end of the day, our folks focus on finding the worst of the worst and getting them off the street.”

One of the seven arrested suspects has been released from jail. The other six are being held on bonds that range from $50,000 to $200,000.