GASTONIA, N.C. -- Eight Gaston County men have been arrested on multiple drug trafficking and gun charges, the U.S. Attorney s office said Monday.

Federal agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives as well as officers with the Gaston County and Bessemer City police departments arrested the men during an early morning sweep on Monday, said Anne Tompkins, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina.

The arrests are the result of an ongoing joint law enforcement effort focused on reducing drug trafficking and violent crime in Gaston County, with special emphasis on the Vantine neighborhood, authorities said.

A 60-count criminal bill of indictment against the defendants was returned by a Charlotte grand jury on Sept. 18. Portions of the indictment were unsealed Monday after the arrests.

Those arrested and charged are: Patrick Gerard Chambers, 30, of Gastonia; Robert Chavius Floyd, 23, of Bessemer City; Rashon Donte Hunter, 18, of Bessemer City; Omaris Dushawn McMiller, 32, of Gastonia; Darral Javarius Anderson, 25, of Bessemer City; Michael Travis Floyd, 34, of Bessemer City; Joshua Rodregus Glenn, 28, of Bessemer City/Gastonia and Bryan Anthony Sanders, 35, of Kings Mountain, Tompkins office said.

During the investigation, law enforcement seized five handguns, two SKS rifles (one with ammunition and scope attached), money, a vehicle, drugs and drug-making paraphernalia, authorities said.

The eight defendants initial appearances were held Monday in U.S. District Court in Charlotte. Detention hearings have been scheduled for Sept. 26.

The remaining defendants charged in the indictment are considered fugitives. Their names will remain under seal until they have been arrested. authorities said.

Reducing violent crime across our district is a top priority for my office. ...Our mission is to make our streets safer and to protect our communities from drugs and violence, said Tompkins.

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