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PROJECT SAFE NEIGHBORHOODS

Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) is a nationwide commitment to reduce gun and gang crime in America by networking existing local programs that target gun and gun crime and providing these programs with additional tools necessary to be successful. Since its inception in 2001, approximately $2 billion has been committed to this initiative. This funding is being used to hire new federal and state prosecutors, support investigators, provide training, distribute gun lock safety kits, deter juvenile gun crime, and develop and promote community outreach efforts as well as to support other gun and gang violence reduction strategies.

The United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Tennessee works with local, state and federal partners, including the ATF, the FBI, the DEA, the ICE, the U.S. Marshal’s Service, the TBI, several Sheriff’s offices and Police Departments to target, investigate, and prosecute the most violent firearms offenders. Outreach, education, and training programs are also part of the program to increase public awareness and to deter violent offenders from continuing to engage in firearms offenses. Some of the prosecutions brought through the Project Safe Neighborhood initiative are:

  • Anthony Lamont Singleton, 37, of Kingsport, Tenn., was sentenced to serve 110 months in prison, by the Honorable J. Ronnie Greer, U.S. District Judge. Upon release from prison, he will be subject to supervised release by the U.S. Probation Office for three years.
  • A federal grand jury in Knoxville returned a 14-count indictment on Mar. 5, 2012, against Tyler Schaeffer, 21, of Seymour, Tenn., for one count of conspiracy to commit Hobbs Act robbery, seven counts of Hobbs Act robbery, four counts of brandishing a firearm during a robbery, one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute methylone, and one count of possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. In that same indictment, Jerel Bray-Shawn Johnson, 20, of Knoxville, Tenn., was charged in the conspiracies to commit Hobbs Act robbery and to distribute and possess with intent to distribute methylone, as well as two counts of Hobbs Act robbery, and two counts of brandishing a firearm during a robbery. Lastly, Rodney James Ruffin, 21, of Sevierville, Tenn., was charged in the same indictment with conspiracy to commit Hobbs Act robbery, one count of Hobbs Act robbery, and one count of brandishing a firearm during a robbery.
  • Paul Douglas Prater, 51, of Niagra Falls, N.Y. was sentenced to serve 264 months in prison by the Honorable Leon Jordan, U.S. District Judge, as a result of his conviction on Jun. 13, 2012, of being a convicted felon in possession of ammunition.
  • Kaylen Butcher, 19, of Greeneville, Tenn., was sentenced on Jan. 10, 2013, to serve a total of 61 months in prison by the Honorable Leon Jordan, Senior U.S. District Judge. Upon his release from prison, he will serve five years of supervised release. Butcher was further ordered to pay restitution to the victim of her crime.

For more information about the PSN Program visit http://www.psn.gov.

Recent PSN cases:

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