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The Post has the rundown on a year-long police sting that took place in a Northeast house:

The house, dressed up as a recording studio, was wired by the FBI, and Sutherland — and all his buyers — were undercover officers. When an officer listening in on a telephone conversation overheard plans to rob them, a year-long sting operation began to wind down.

Those encounters, described in court papers, were among the many that occurred during the sting, which was unveiled Monday. Authorities say officers posing as gangsters, crooked businessmen and bodyguards helped snag $7.2 million in cocaine, PCP and other drugs, buy and capture 161 weapons, and make 70 arrests.

Authorities said it was one of their most important weapons investigations in recent history.

“Had those drugs and guns made it to our streets, the consequences would be devastating,” D.C. Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier said Monday at a news conference.

The face of the the sting operation was Sutherland, a veteran of undercover work. Posing as Manic Enterprises impresario Richie Valdez, head of an international string of recording studios, Sutherland convinced criminals that he was one of them, and that he wasn’t afraid to rob banks and drug dealers to boost his trade in guns and drugs. But Valdez’s associates were D.C. police narcotics investigators.

As the Post notes, MPD is patting itself on the back for another successful sting—-and it’s possible that the reduction in murders bears out this success. But there’s still plenty of violent crime in the city; it would be good to hear more about the tactics being used to reduce the other forms of crime on the rise.

Photo by Charles Steck