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READING, Pa (CBS) — Authorities in Berks County announced the arrest of eight people involved in what officials are calling the most violent drug trafficking crimes they’ve ever seen in the county.

“This past year, frankly, has been hard on this area. In 2018, Berks County had the highest homicide rate that it has encountered in over a decade. This group is alleged to have a big role in these homicide numbers going up,” said U.S. Attorney William McSwain.

Police: 163 People Arrested, Nearly $1 Million In Drugs Seized In Anti-Crime Initiative

Authorities believe this group was involved in seven or eight homicides in 2017 and 2018.

The defendants were indicted by a grand jury Wednesday and face drug trafficking, firearms, murder and attempted murder charges. If convicted, some suspects could be facing life in prison.

This is still an ongoing investigations and more arrests could be made in what authorities have call “Operation Shattered.”