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Project Safe Neighborhood (PSN): Revitalized in 2018

In the fall of 2017, Attorney General Jeff Sessions revitalized the Project Safe Neighborhoods program, a national-scale violent crime reduction program aimed at making our communities safer and more secure.  The enhanced PSN program builds on past successes by integrating proven methods of reducing violent crime with new strategies and technology that will make the Department's efforts more efficient and effective.   

The United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Tennessee works with local, state and federal partners, including the ATF, FBI, DEA, ICE, U.S. Marshal’s Service, TBI, and local 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 recent prosecutions brought through the PSN are highlighted below.

  • On October 2, 2018, Benjamin Joel Brooks, 40, of Newport, Tennessee, was sentenced by the Honorable R. Leon Jordan, U.S. District Judge, to serve ten years in federal prison.  Upon his release from prison, he will be supervised by U.S. Probation for five years.   Brooks pleaded guilty in March 2018 to armed robbery of a pharmacy and using, carrying and brandishing a firearm during the robbery.

  • On March 27, 2018, Darrell Lansing Hobbs, a/k/a Darrell “Lance” Hobbs, 36, of Gray, Tennessee, was sentenced by the Honorable J. Ronnie Greer, U.S. District Court Judge, to serve 120 months in prison for his role in a conspiracy to produce counterfeit obligations of the United States with intent to defraud the government, possession of stolen firearms and being a felon in possession of firearms. The court imposed the statutory maximums of 120 months on both gun charges and 60 months on the counterfeiting conspiracy charges.  The sentences will run concurrently.

  • On March 7, 2018, Chris Rayvon Starks, 31, of Shelbyville, Tennessee, was sentenced to serve 180 months in prison by the Honorable Curtis L. Collier, Senior U.S. District Judge.  Starks previously pleaded guilty to unlawfully possessing a firearm and ammunition in violation of the Gun Control Act.  His sentence was enhanced based on his three prior convictions for aggravated robbery.  He was sentenced under the Armed Career Criminal Act (“ACCA”).



Updated October 2, 2018

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