Acting U.S. Attorney Announces Violent Crime Efforts with Federal, State and Local Law Enforcement Partners
BATON ROUGE, LA – Acting United States Attorney Corey Amundson today announced various initiatives aimed at addressing the violent crime problem in East Baton Rouge Parish.
Senior federal, state, and local law enforcement officials joined Acting U.S. Attorney Amundson for the announcement, including Acting Chief David Jaffe of the Organized Crime and Gang Section of the U.S. Department of Justice; ATF Special Agent-in-Charge Dana Nichols; ATF Resident Agent-in-Charge Antonio Pittman; DEA Assistant Special Agent-in-Charge Brad Byerley; FBI Senior Supervisory Resident Agent Maurice Hattier; U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations, Resident Agent-in-Charge Ron Militana; Acting U.S. Marshal Randall Breckwoldt; Louisiana State Police Col. Kevin Reeves; Baton Rouge Police Acting Chief Jonathan Dunnam; East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff Sid Gautreaux; East Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney Hillar Moore; and Baton Rouge Constable Reginald Brown.
Acting U.S. Attorney Amundson thanked the many elected and community leaders engaged in addressing the violent crime issue for their leadership, support, and efforts, including Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome, our Congressional Delegation (Senators Cassidy and Kennedy and Representatives Graves and Richmond), Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry, Governor John Bel Edwards, and many others.
Acting U.S. Attorney Amundson reaffirmed support for the important work of the Crime Strategies Unit, the Violent Crime Unit, and those aspects of the Baton Rouge Violence Elimination Project (BRAVE) that have proven to be successful. All three initiatives have enhanced our collective efforts to successfully identify and pursue the most violent offenders.
Acting U.S. Attorney Amundson outlined the below additional steps being taken to address the three main drivers of our homicide and violent crime rates -- group violence, drug trafficking, and domestic violence.
First, to attack group-based violence, the represented agencies have created a U.S. Attorney-led Violent Criminal Enterprises Strike Force. Using our collective data and intelligence, the strike force will identify the most violent groups in our area. A team of federal prosecutors and federal, state, and local law enforcement agents will be assigned to each group and will utilize any and all legal means at their disposal to pursue those groups in a series of thorough, long-term investigations.
Second, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, together with the ATF, the Baton Rouge Police Department, and the East Baton Rogue Sheriff’s Office, will accelerate a previously undisclosed federal gun prosecution initiative called Operation Joint Endeavor. This initiative has resulted in the prosecution of approximately 50 defendants, many with violent criminal histories, with sentences up to 15 years in federal prison. This morning, Justice Department leaders in Washington also announced a renewed focus on such prosecutions, recognizing the significant role they have in reducing local violent crime.
Third, to attack the drug trafficking fueling the homicide and violent crime rates, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, in partnership its federal, state, and local partners, will continue to aggressively pursue drug traffickers (not mere users) using mandatory minimum sentences provided by Congress. About 90 Americans die every day from opioid-related overdoses alone. We will aggressively pursue those who traffic this poison.
Fourth, the Justice Department is funding myriad state and local efforts to reduce violent crime. In the month of September alone, the Justice Department has awarded millions of dollars to state and local agencies and organizations in Baton Rouge, including (1) $750K for the implementation of body-worn camera policies, (2) $3.8 million to assist law enforcement agencies who responded to the August 2016 flood, (3) $2.4 million to combat sexual assault and assist victims, (4) $91K to respond to violence against women, (5) $2.8 million for data collection, management, and analysis, (6) $1,050,000 for state prisoner reentry programs, (7) $400,000 for drug treatment efforts, (8) $400,000 for forensic science efforts, including DNA analysis, (9) $300,000 to support the Louisiana Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, and (10) $825,000 to ensure that those with bail bond restrictions or mental health issues are unable to purchase a firearm.
Fifth, the Justice Department has selected Baton Rouge as one of 12 cities to participate in the National Public Safety Partnership. On October 6, 2017, various federal, state, and local agencies and organizations will be meeting at the U.S. Attorney’s Office with Justice Department officials about programs designed to (1) maximize the ability of resource-strapped departments, such as our local departments, to implement community policing concepts, (2) improve our collective ability to collect, analyze, and share data, and (3) increase the involvement of our business community in anti-violence efforts.
The agencies involved in the above efforts include:
- U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Louisiana
- U.S. Department of Justice, Criminal Division, Organized Crime and Gang Section
- U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs
- Federal Bureau of Investigation
- U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration
- U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives
- U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations
- U.S. Marshal’s Service
- Louisiana State Police
- Louisiana Attorney General’s Office
- East Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney’s Office
- East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office
- East Baton Rouge Parish Constable’s Office
- Baton Rouge City Police Department