A sawn-off shotgun believed to be linked to a double shooting in Kirkby was found following police raids across the city.
On January 7, gunmen opened fire on homes and a car in Knowsley between 6.25pm and 6.50pm during a 30-minute rampage.
Properties and a vehicle were left with significant damage after a shotgun and handgun were fired on Windermere Drive and Mossborough Drive in Kirkby.
The shootings sparked a long-standing police operation, and yesterday morning, 10 warrants were simultaneously executed in Kirkby as well as Waterloo, Fazakerley and Huyton.
Months of intelligence gathering resulted in the seizure of thousands of pounds of cash, two Rolex watches, Class A drugs, a crossbow and a loaded air weapon.
Knowsley Police has now issued an update confirming that a shotgun and 1,000 wraps of suspected drugs have also been recovered after an open land search as part of the same police operation.
The ECHO understands the shotgun found is believed to be the same used in Kirkby, on January 7.
A total of eight people have now been arrested as a result of the raids of homes of individuals suspected being involved in firearms, drugs, and other serious crimes.
Among them, a 19-year-old man from Kirkby was arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to supply crack cocaine and heroin.
A 24-year-old also from Kirkby was arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to supply cannabis.
A 30-year-old man and a 26-year-old man, both from Kirkby, were arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to supply Class B drugs, possession of explosives and possession of criminal property.
A 31-year-old woman from Fazakerley was also arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to supply Class B drugs, possession of criminal property and money laundering, and abstracting electricity.
They have been taken into custody to be interviewed as extensive searches of the properties continue.
Detective Chief Inspector Matt Smith said: “We have had a very successful morning, but our pursuit of those who bring fear, violence and intimidation to our streets goes on all year round. Their actions will never be tolerated.
“The action we are taking today will make our communities safer – as a direct result there are now less drugs in circulation to harm our most vulnerable, less drugs to line the pockets of criminals, and less weapons to cause serious injury or worse.
“And crucially some of those people we suspect of sustaining an illicit trade that brings misery to the streets of Merseyside now face justice for their actions.
“This is not just one day of activity – it is the result of many hours of dedicated hard work by officers gathering evidence and planning the most effective ways of hitting criminals where it hurts, and preventing them from inflicting harm on the wider community.
“And our investigations will continue, as well as the land searches, warrants and stop checks that disrupt criminals seeking to make an illicit living in Merseyside.”
Det Chief Insp Smith added: “We know Class A drugs blight the lives of those who become addicted to them, many of whom then fund their addiction through stealing.
“This can include burglary, theft and robbery – all crimes which have a huge impact on those unfortunate enough to fall victim to them.
“But the criminals who supply and distribute the drugs wilfully exploit people to get them hooked on drugs, and do not care about the impact their subsequent criminality has on decent members of society. The only thing they care about is making money, whatever the cost.
“Many think nothing of picking up a firearm to settle disputes with rivals, and in doing so endanger not just each other but anyone living on the streets they bring gun violence to.
“Some think they are untouchable and live a lifestyle that is way beyond their means, with no legitimate employment to account for the money they might spend on extravagant holidays and designer clothes.
"But they are not untouchable. Using legislation under the Proceeds of Crime Act we have today seized a large amount of cash as well as high-value watches we believe have been bought through money made from crime, including drug dealing.
Top news stories
"Our message to those involved in serious organised crime on Merseyside is simple: however hard you try, you cannot escape justice. We will continue to do everything in our power to disrupt organised crime groups and put offenders before the courts.
“A massive help in those efforts is information from the community – no-one should have to put up with drug dealing and the associated violence and gun crime it brings, and if it is happening where you live, we want you to tell us so we can take action.”
Anyone with information on drugs or firearms in their area can contact Merseyside Police social media desk via Twitter @MerPolCC or Facebook ‘Merseyside Police Contact Centre’. You can also call 101, or contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously, on 0800 555 111 or via their online form at: https://crimestoppers-uk.org/give-information/give-information. In an emergency, always call 999.