An ATF agent says the guns seized in this investigation most likely would have been used in violent crimes.
Federal and local authorities arrested the 18 Rockford residents on charges of gun trafficking, drug dealing and other firearms violations.
The arrests stem from a plan called Project Safe Neighborhoods. It's a cooperative effort between federal and local authorities to stop gun crimes.
Under cover federal agents purchased 74 illegal guns and crack cocaine from felons and drug dealers. Police seized five additional guns during Thursday’s arrests.
One man arrested, 23-year-old Derrick Brown, faces 13 counts. Each count of firearms violations carries a prison sentence of five to 10 years, and criminals convicted of selling crack cocaine spend between five years to life in prison.