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Press Release

Attorney General William P. Barr Announces Launch of Operation Relentless Pursuit

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Wisconsin
The Operation will surge federal law enforcement resources into seven American cities – including Milwaukee

Today, Attorney General William P. Barr announced the launch of Operation Relentless Pursuit, an initiative aimed at combating violent crime in seven American cities – including Milwaukee – through a surge in federal resources.

Joined at a press conference in Detroit, Michigan., by ATF Acting Director Regina Lombardo, DEA Acting Administrator Uttam Dhillon, FBI Director Christopher Wray, and United States Marshals Service Director Donald W. Washington, Attorney General Barr pledged to intensify federal law enforcement resources into Albuquerque, Baltimore, Cleveland, Detroit, Kansas City, Memphis, and Milwaukee – seven American cities with violent crime levels above the national average.

United States Attorney Matthew D. Krueger, supervisors of Milwaukee-based federal law enforcement agencies, and local law enforcement leaders announced their participation in the initiative at a press conference immediately following the Attorney General’s.

 “Americans deserve to live in safety,” said Attorney General William P. Barr. “And while nationwide violent crime rates are down, many cities continue to see levels of extraordinary violence. Operation Relentless Pursuit seeks to ensure that no American city is excluded from the peace and security felt by the majority of Americans, while also supporting those who serve and protect in these communities with the resources, training, and equipment they need to stay safe.”

“Milwaukee is a great city whose residents deserve to live in safe, flourishing neighborhoods,” said United States Attorney Matthew D. Krueger.  “Federal, state, and local law enforcement is committed working together to ensure the safety of every block in Milwaukee.  Operation Relentless Pursuit represents an unprecedented pledge of new federal resources to enhance those efforts and hold accountable the small number of individuals who cause most of Milwaukee’s violence.” 

 “The men and women of ATF are deeply committed and focused on reducing crime gun violence in our communities and we are honored to participate in this important initiative in the city of Milwaukee,” commented Tim Jones, the Special Agent in Charge of the ATF Chicago Field Division.  “By fully exploiting National Integrated Ballistic Information Network (NIBIN) leads and other crime gun intelligence, we will focus on identifying and investigating criminals who are engaged in the commission of violent crime. These leads make connections to firearms that are used at various crime scenes. The Milwaukee Police Department does a fantastic job of using these leads to investigate and charge violent offenders. ATF will support the Milwaukee Police Department in this ongoing effort as well as follow up on the leads that have a federal nexus. We pledge to partner with the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Wisconsin to hold accountable the trigger-pullers and other violent criminals, as well as the illegal firearms traffickers who supply the firearms used to terrorize our communities.”

DEA Chicago Field Division Special Agent in Charge Robert Bell commented, “The DEA has a long history of working closely with our valued local, state, and federal partners to fight the drug trafficking and violence which plagues too many Milwaukee neighborhoods.  The announcement of Operation Relentless Pursuit signals an increased focus by the U.S. Department of Justice, DEA, and our partners on saving lives that might otherwise be destroyed by drug trafficking and violence.” 

FBI Milwaukee Special Agent in Charge (SAC) Robert E. Hughes said: "A key factor in combating violent gangs here in Milwaukee and across the country will always be strong partnership and collaboration.  We share resources, information, and intelligence with our law enforcement partners, dedicated to disrupting and dismantling the most significant gangs."

The US Marshals Service is honored to participate in the Attorney General’s operation to bring the most dangerous criminals in the Milwaukee area into custody.  With the infusion of resources and coordinated law enforcement effort, the US Marshals Service is confident the operation will have a significant impact in reducing the true source of violence in our community.

The Operation will involve increasing the number of federal law enforcement officers within the selected cities, as well as enhancing federal task forces through collaborative efforts with state and local law enforcement partners. The surge in federal agents will be complemented by a financial commitment of up to $71 million in federal grant funding that can be used to hire new officers, pay overtime and benefits, finance federally deputized task force officers, and provide mission-critical equipment and technology. 

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For Additional Information Contact:

Public Information Officer Kenneth Gales 414-297-1700

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Updated December 18, 2019