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Press Release

Attorney General Merrick B. Garland Announces New Northeast Ohio Crime Gun Intelligence Center in Cleveland

For Immediate Release
Office of Public Affairs

Alongside state and local law enforcement partners in Cleveland, Attorney General Merrick B. Garland, Director Steven Dettelbach of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), and U.S. Attorney Rebecca C. Lutzko for the Northern District of Ohio today announced the opening of a new Northeast Ohio Crime Gun Intelligence Center (CGIC) in Cleveland.

“The Northeast Ohio Crime Gun Intelligence Center will allow us to leverage our partnerships and technological innovation to solve gun crimes and to save lives,” said Attorney General Garland. “When it comes to investigating gun crimes, every day matters. Every day, another lead can run dry. Every day, a repeat shooter may shatter another family and another community. With this CGIC, it does not matter if a crime is committed in a city, a suburb, or a rural area. The law enforcement officers who investigate will have cutting-edge technology at their fingertips and a lineup of experts ready to assist.”

“Following on the success of last year’s intelligence-driven gun crime initiative, this Crime Gun Intelligence Center puts in the same room analysts, agents, cops, deputies, and both federal and state prosecutors,” said ATF Director Dettelbach. “They work together on the same cases using real time, state-of-the-art intelligence. Every morning, they review key evidence from the previous night’s shootings to identify the shooters. CGICs like this make homicide cases. CGICs like this stop the next shooting. And CGICs like this help stop the crime guns that are getting to the shooters. I want to commend the ATF Cleveland leadership and the many law enforcement agencies working together under one roof with a focus on real-time ballistics testing and crime gun tracing. I also want to thank the leadership here for coming together to protect Ohioans. Mayor Bibb, Attorney General Yost, County Executive Ronayne, Mayor Malik, and Governor DeWine have all supported a law enforcement presence in this CGIC. Without all of them, this CGIC does not happen. This level of partnership is truly exceptional. Chalk one up for the good guys in Ohio.”

CGICs are centralized law enforcement hubs that focus exclusively on investigating and preventing gun violence in local communities. They use cutting-edge technologies, including ATF’s National Integrated Ballistic Information Network (NIBIN) and eTrace systems, to rapidly develop and pursue investigative leads in order to drive case clearance rates up — which in turn can help drive violent crime rates down. They bring together, under one roof, the expertise of firearm evidence examiners, intelligence analysts, and investigators to rapidly collect, analyze, and share information about guns used in violent crimes. In total, ATF operates more than 60 CGICs nationwide.

“Prosecuting and preventing violent crime throughout our district is one core mission of the United States Attorney’s Office. And investigative data shows that the same guns are often used to commit multiple, different instances of violent crimes, without regard to city or county lines,” said U.S. Attorney Lutzko. “That is why we most effectively combat violent crime — and the illegal firearms trafficking that supports it — through strong regional partnerships, collaboration, and technology. The incredible capabilities of the Crime Gun Intelligence Center — and the federal, state, and local partnerships that make it possible — allow us to connect the dots between crimes so we can prosecute, convict, and lock up the bad actors who commit violent crimes and remove “crime guns” from the streets faster, so neither continue to endanger innocent people in neighborhoods throughout Northern Ohio.”

“ATF has long worked with our partners in the Cleveland area to reduce violent crime, including the use of NIBIN and other intelligence tools,” stated Daryl McCormick, Special Agent in Charge of ATF’s Columbus Field Division. “This CGIC represents both a broadening and deepening of that cooperation and commitment. We are broadening this intelligence approach to a regional level, recognizing that those perpetrating violence don’t respect civic boundaries. In addition, we are all committing to the timely and comprehensive entry of information, and the analysis and use of these intelligence tools, to ensure that every CGIC participating agency has the information that may provide investigative leads as quickly as possible. I firmly believe that this effort will help us identify, investigate, and prosecute those individuals who are harming our communities.”

The Northeast Ohio CGIC is the first CGIC located within an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) Strike Force, which not only supports the use of Crime Gun Intelligence (GCI) but also applies proactive investigative work and incorporates the use of OCDETF funds and resources. The CGIC was designed to execute a two-pronged approach: an intelligence component, led by ATF, and an investigative component, led by Ohio High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas program (HIDTA).

Over 30 agencies across federal, state, and local law enforcement are partners in this new CGIC, focusing on real-time comprehensive ballistics testing and firearms tracing, two of ATF’s fundamental pillars of Crime Gun Intelligence. Federal and state prosecutors are included as participants to ensure the charging process is timely and effective. The Northeast Ohio CGIC partners include ATF, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Ohio, Cleveland Division of Police, Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office, Cuyahoga County Sherrif’s Office, Ohio HIDTA, Ohio Narcotics Intelligence Center, Ohio Breau of Criminal Investigation, Northeast Ohio Regional Fusion Center, Garfield Heights Police Department, Lakewood Police Department, Lorain Police Department, Ohio State Highway Patrol, Ohio Investigative Unit, and the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction/Ohio Adult Parole Authority. Six additional agencies support the CGIC but are located with ATF’s Akron and/or Canton Task Forces: Akron Police Department, Barberton Police Department, Canton Police Department, Portage County Sheriff’s Office, Summit County Sheriff’s Office, and the University of Akron Police Department. Nine additional agencies have designated a liaison to support the CGIC: Elyria Police Department, Euclid Police Department, Lake County Sheriff’s Office, Lorain County Sheriff’s Office, Maple Heights Police Department, Medina City Police Department, Medina County Sheriff’s Office, Solon Police Department, and Willoughby Police Department. Additionally, four federal agencies support the CGIC through their participation at the OCEDTF Strike Force: Homeland Security Investigations, Drug Enforcement Administration, FBI, and the U.S. Marshal’s Service.

Updated June 25, 2024

Topics
Firearms Offenses
Violent Crime