FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Friday - March 18, 2005
PROJECT SAFE NEIGHBORHOODS and
CUMBERLAND COUNTY WARRANT ENFORCEMENT
FAYETTEVILLE - At a news conference in Fayetteville, N. C., on Friday, March 18, 2005, United States Attorney Frank D. Whitney and United States Marshal Charles R. Reavis announced the completion of a 12-day warrant enforcement initiative conducted throughout Cumberland County. This multi-agency collaborative effort, coordinated by the United States Marshals Service, included Deputy U. S. Marshals from Raleigh, Washington, D. C., and Atlanta, and agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, as well as personnel from 10 other state and local law enforcement agencies.
The Cumberland County round-up is part of the Eastern North Carolina Violent Fugitive Task Force of the U. S. Marshals Service and Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), President Bush's national program to reduce gun violence. Beginning Monday morning, March 7th, and concluding on Friday, March 18th, 12 federal, state, and local agencies worked together to execute outstanding warrants in the county. Charles R. Reavis, United States Marshal for the Eastern District of North Carolina, reported that 90 arrests were made during the 12-day period. The arrest warrants had been issued for various violent offenses, including rape, child abuse, murder,
drugs, assault with a deadly weapon, illegal possession of a firearm, aggravated assault, probation violations, and weapons violations. In addition, agents seized 15 firearms.
Project Safe Neighborhoods remains President Bush's Number Two National Priority behind Terrorism. This war against guns and gun violence has been referred to as the "War Against Domestic Terrorism." Nationally, in the past three years, federal gun prosecutions have increased by 68 percent. Here in the Eastern District of North Carolina, federal gun crime prosecutions are up 259 percent over the past three years. The goal throughout the Eastern District of North Carolina is to stop gun crimes, swiftly and effectively, through the team efforts of each Project Safe Neighborhoods site.
"Operation CeaseFire," the Project Safe Neighborhoods task force and Violent Crimes Task Force in the Cumberland County area, has been working in conjunction with the Fayetteville Office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The task force now has grown to include the Fayetteville Police Department, the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office, and several other area police departments. The task force has been working together diligently to reduce gun crime. PSN is a five-pronged, comprehensive program designed to address the individual issues of each locality as they relate to gun crimes and gun violence. The five essential elements are Partnerships, Strategic Planning, Training, Community Outreach, and Accountability. The PSN partnerships bring together federal, state, and local agencies to cooperate in a unified fight against gun crime.
United States Attorney Frank D. Whitney stated, "Through this 12-day warrant enforcement initiative, the Cumberland County partnership is continuing to deliver the message to criminals and the community that violence will not be tolerated and will be met with swift law enforcement action."
Under the leadership of the United States Marshals Service, deputies from the U. S. Marshals offices in Raleigh, Fayetteville, Wilmington, Atlanta, and Washington, D. C., participated in the Cumberland County round-up. Other agencies involved included the U. S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the North Carolina Division of Community Corrections - Probation and Parole, the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office, the Fayetteville Police Department, the Spring Lake Police Department, the Wake County Sheriff's Office, the Raleigh Police Department, the Cary Police Department, the New Hanover County Sheriff's Office, and the Wilmington Police Department. Assistant U. S. Attorney Jane J. Jackson is the district's Project Safe Neighborhoods Coordinator. For more information on the President's program to reduce gun violence, please contact the U. S. Attorney's Office.