By Mark Abrams

CHESTER COUNTY, Pa. (CBS) –– Forty people identified as violent offenders in Chester County, including one who was running guns across state lines, were taken off the street during a three-month operation run by the District Attorney.

Chester County District Attorney Tom Hogan says “Operation Silent Night” was focused primarily in the community of Coatesville.

Hogan says the targets were people engaged in criminal activity that could have led to murders. By using a grand jury, search warrants and street intelligence, Hogan says law enforcement managed to curb the homicide rate.

“We did this by going after folks for drug offenses, firearms offenses and robberies, which are the main predicates for us, of murder,” said Hogan.

He says one suspect was running illegal guns between Wilmington and Chester County.

Hogan says there was only one murder in Coatesville over the summer and that was quickly solved.

“The whole idea here is to give the good people of Coatesville a silent night, a quiet night to sleep through and not have to worry about gunshots ringing out, people being killed and maybe a child caught in the crossfire,” said Hogan.