U.S. Department of Justice
Peter F. Neronha
United States Attorney
District of Rhode Island
March 9, 2010
State, federal prosecutors cross-designated to prosecute drugs, firearms and neighborhood crimes
UU.S. Attorney Peter F. Neronha and R.I. Attorney General Patrick C. Lynch today jointly announced the cross-designation of several senior prosecutors to bolster the prosecution of neighborhood crimes, particularly crimes involving drugs and firearms. The announcement follow meetings last week in Washington with United States Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr., attended by both Lynch and Neronha, where Holder urged state and federal prosecutors from across the country to continue to work together and share resources.
Cross-designation permits prosecutors to cross-over and prosecute cases either in a state or federal court. Targeted cases are jointly reviewed to determine appropriate charges, appropriate jurisdiction and in which court appropriate penalties are likely to be realized. Senior prosecutors experienced in firearms, drugs, organized crime and neighborhood prosecution have been cross-designated.
“The attorney general’s office is already a critical partner in our Project Safe Neighborhood program,” said U.S. Attorney Peter Neronha, “I am pleased that we continue to build on our relationship with the Attorney General and other federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, with a particular focus of getting guns off the streets and making neighborhoods safer. Cross-designation allows us to throw more investigative and prosecutorial resources at criminals who disrupt our neighborhoods, and more options to seek appropriate punishment.”
Attorney General Lynch said, “Here in Rhode Island, cooperation between the Attorney General’s office and the United States Attorney’s office has long been standard operating procedure, but the cross-designation of prosecutors from our two offices takes this cooperation to the next level. I look forward to continuing to share resources with United States Attorney Neronha to determine which venue, state or federal, will deliver the strongest possible response to the crimes that can harm and traumatize our communities.”
Cross-designated prosecutors include Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen Dambruch, Chief of the Criminal Division; Assistant U.S. Attorney Adi Goldstein, Deputy Chief of the Criminal Division and Chief of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force Unit; R.I Assistant Attorney General Pamela Chin, Chief of the Narcotics and Organized Crime Unit; and R.I Special Assistant Attorney General Jim Baum, Community Prosecution.
Project Safe Neighborhoods is a Department of Justice initiative against gun crimes. Under Project Safe Neighborhoods, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, working with the Rhode Island Attorney General’s Office, Providence Police, ATF, Rhode Island State Police and other agencies, aggressively prosecutes federal firearms offenses in an effort to incarcerate those responsible for gun violence and deter others from committing gun crimes.