BRIDGEPORT -  Authorities have seized more than 70 weapons through a series of raids.

Officials say the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms led Operation Sampson, which was designed to reduce violent crime in Bridgeport and New Haven.

Authorities say they targeted gang members and drug dealers because those are the criminals who have the vast majority of illegal firearms on the street.

The raids were carried out over a four-month operation with the help of the Bridgeport, Norwalk and Stamford police departments. Police say officers put their lives on the line time and again in a long series of undercover operations.

Among the weapons seized were sawed-off shotguns and military-style assault rifles.

Officials say that of the 153 people they intend to prosecute, about 100 are already in custody. They say at least one of the guns seized has already been linked to a murder, but they won't say where that murder took place.