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9 more arrested in East side drug trafficking investigation

(SBG San Antonio)

SAN ANTONIO -- In a multi-agency effort, authorities have arrested 9 more people in a drug trafficking investigation on the city's East side.

Nine out of 14 people were arrested on warrants for state drug charges Thursday, in addition to the 9 federal drug trafficking arrests made last week.

"We've had people coming out of their houses today, thanking us for being here," said San Antonio police Chief William McManus.

Watch the full press briefing:

Chief McManus said the nearly two-month-long investigation has been an effort to control the violent crime and drug activity on the East side. Thursday's arrests happened in the 500 block of Corliss as well as the 500 block of Morningview. He said that although all of the suspects arrested Thursday come from various parts of the city, they all congregate in the Morningview area to "sell their drugs." He said all of the warrants were served without incident. McManus said all of the suspects have violent criminal histories.

He added that since the nearly 10 violent crime arrests that were made last year, the violence on the East side has come to "somewhat of a calm" and that there's not back and forth retaliation.

"This effort, I believe, will change the tone and tenor of things that have happened here on Morningview," McManus said.

Councilman William "Cruz" Shaw said these issues are not just an issue on the East side, but all of San Antonio.

"I think it's important what chief mentioned, too, earlier, that a lot of folks from all over the city came over to District 2, or to the East side. This is not an East side problem. It's a San Antonio problem," Shaw said. "A lot of folks are saying 'what's happening, what's happening?' And all we can say is trust the process. It's going to work out as you can see today. Being a criminal defense attorney, we have to make sure that they have a sound case. We just can't go and arrest because we think something, we hear something. We have to make sure we have a solid case in order to prosecute and that's what these gentlemen did today."

We spoke to one resident who lives near Morningview Drive.

"It's always been a neighborhood of love, elderly people, and family," said Walter Perry.

However, some say the area also has a violent reputation. On Labor Day weekend 4 people were shot along Morningview Drive including a 2-year-old.

Walter tells us that he hoped these recent arrests will help increase safety in the neighborhood for his 6-year-old son.

"We want ya'll to put the guns down," said Perry. "Stop shooting these kids, and stop shooting innocent people. We just want to see a community that my son can grow up and be somebody."

McManus said 5 more arrests are still outstanding, but guaranteed that they'd be caught.

"We're going to get them," said Chief McManus. Between the Marshals and everyone looking for them, it's just a matter of time."

Perry says that the community is organizing a 5K run for November. He tells us that the goal of the race is to promote peace within the neighborhood. You can learn more about the race HERE.

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