49 arrested, 400 illegal guns seized in ATL sting

Prosecutors in Atlanta have charged 49 people with firearm, drug trafficking and theft charges after a seven-month undercover sting operation.

U.S. Attorney Sally Quillian Yates announced the charges Tuesday.

The complex operation involved undercover agents with the Atlanta Police Department and the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and a storefront they opened in southwest Atlanta called "ATL Blaze."

The agents sold tobacco products from the store, and quietly put the word out they would buy firearms.

Soon, they had recovered nearly 400 illegal guns, including some from convicted felons. The ATF says the operation cost about $400,000.

Yates said the sting was a "proactive, not reactive, approach to law enforcement."

Some 27 of the defendants have been arrested. The rest are being sought by police.