Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ efforts to encourage federal prosecutors step up and target violent offenders is seeing successful fruits. The Department of Justice (DOJ) announced on June 1 13 new gun-related indictments in the state of Ohio against gun and violent crime offenses. This is an increase in 60 percent over the last two fiscal years.
The defendants listed in the indictments have long criminal histories.
"These defendants include those with a long history of violent crime, as well as defendants who have illegally obtained guns for criminals to use in violent crime like carjackings. As part of Project Safe Neighborhoods, we will continue to work with local police and federal law enforcement to target the most dangerous offenders and make our community safer,” said Justin Herdman, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio.
Several law enforcement agencies, including the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosive (ATF) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), were involved with at least one case, respectively.
This effort comes on the heels of President Donald Trump’s executive order to focus on cutting down crime. A press release sent out by the DOJ on March 8, 2017, quoted him as saying, “Turning back our nation’s recent rise in violent crime is a top priority for the Department of Justice, and it requires decisive action from our federal prosecutors. I’m urging each of them to continue working closely with their counterparts at all levels, and to use every tool we have to put violent offenders behind bars and keep our citizens safe.”
The memo further iterated Sessions had made clear to federal prosecutors that the prosecution of violent criminals was a high priority for the DOJ. The varying levels of federal, state and local law enforcement were to work together with prosecutors to remove violent criminals from American streets. Sessions stressed the importance of using the tools available to these agencies to apprehend repeat offenders.