Operation Recoil: Birmingham police arrest 15 in crack down on illegal sale of firearms, drugs

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- Birmingham police, US Marshals and ATF agents arrested 15 people during Operation Recoil, an ongoing effort by law enforcement to reduce violent crimes in the city by cracking down on the illegal sales of firearms and drugs, authorities announced Monday.According to a release, those arrested are accused of various crimes ranging from drug trafficking to felony possession of firearms. The Birmingham Police Department's Crime Reduction and Neighborhood Enforcement teams teamed up with federal and state agents during the operation. "Our department's number priority is reducing violent crime," Birmingham Police Chief A.C. Roper said. "We've reported historic crime reductions in the City of Birmingham but much work remains to be done. Our federal partners, ATF and the US Marshals have really worked shoulder to shoulder with our investigators in targeting these offenders suspected of illegal firearms and narcotics offenses."Several suspects are accused of not only trafficking firearms, but selling weapons to convicted felons."Today's round-up included suspects that ATF and its state and local partners investigated for violent firearms and narcotics related crimes along with persons who trafficked firearms by deceiving gun dealers and providing firearms to felons and others not lawfully able to possess firearms," ATF Special Agent in Charge Jeff Fulton said."Drugs and guns are a deadly mix so our streets are much safer with these suspects facing federal prison time," Roper added.The 15 suspects arrested are:Lance AlexanderCharges:{} Conspiracy to Obtain Illegal FirearmBrian BeasleyCharges:{} Felon in Possession of a FirearmQuantrey BryantCharges:{} Credit Card Fraud, Illegally Obtaining a Firearm, Wire FraudMichael ChavisCharges:{} Federal IndictmentChristopher CollinsCharges:{} Felon in Possession of a FirearmMarquette HarrisCharges: Conspiracy to Obtain Illegal FirearmEric Jones Charges:{} Felon in Possession Conspiracy, Possession of a Firearm during Drug Trafficking Crime, 2 counts of Possession with Intent to Distribute Methamphetamine Christiana PeavyCharges:{} Federal IndictmentCurtis RobinsonCharges:{} Federal IndictmentMizell SandersCharges:{} Felon in Possession of a FirearmClifford SmithCharges:{} Felon in PossessionNorman StantonCharges:{} Federal IndictmentLarry SteelCharges:{} 4 counts of Felon in Possession, 3 counts of Possession of A Firearm During Drug Trafficking Crime, 2 counts of Possession with Intent to Distribute Methamphetamine, Possession with Intent to Distribute CocaineLerrell DowdellCharges: 2 counts of Felon in Possession of A Firearm, 2 counts of Distribution of Heroin, Felon in Possession of A Firearm/HeroinAntonio WatkinsCharges:{} Felon in Possession of a Firearm