Skip to main content
Press Release

U.S. Attorney Thomas T. Cullen Announces Progress in Making our Communities Safer Through Project Safe Neighborhoods

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Virginia

Roanoke, VIRGINIA – One year ago, the Department of Justice announced the revitalization and enhancement of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), which Attorney General Sessions has made the centerpiece of the Department’s violent crime reduction strategy. PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime.  Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. 

Throughout the past year, the United States Attorney’s Office has partnered with all levels of law enforcement to reduce violent crime and make the communities and neighborhoods of the Western District of Virginia safer for everyone.

“Project Safe Neighborhoods is a proven program with demonstrated results,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said. “We know that the most effective strategy to reduce violent crime is based on sound policing policies that have proven effective over many years, which includes being targeted and responsive to community needs.  I have empowered our United States Attorneys to focus enforcement efforts against the most violent criminals in their districts, and directed that they work together with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement and community partners to develop tailored solutions to the unique violent crime problems they face.  Each United States Attorney has prioritized the PSN program, and I am confident that it will continue to reduce crime, save lives, and restore safety to our communities.”

“Reducing violent crime through the PSN initiative is my top priority,” said U.S. Attorney Cullen. “With the assistance of our federal, state, and local law-enforcement partners, we have made significant progress towards this goal in Danville and Roanoke.  Over 20 alleged violent gang members are no longer operating on the streets of these communities, and we look forward to continuing our efforts there and expanding PSN to other localities in the Western District of Virginia.”

Led by U.S. Attorney Cullen, the Western District of Virginia’s PSN Initiative tasks federal prosecutors with targeting violent individuals, groups, and gangs within specific communities and, through vigorous prosecution, working to achieve meaningful reductions in the rates of violent crime.  Over the past year there have been many highlights on the newly revitalized PSN program. Here are some examples of the most effective:

  • Danville RICO Indictment: On June 14, 2018, federal, state, and local authorities announced the largest and most significant prosecution of organized gang activity in the Western District of Virginia in over a decade. “Read More


  • US v. Justin Stallings: On July 25, 2018, a federal grand jury charged a Danville man with committing numerous armed robberies of businesses in Danville, Bedford, and Rocky Mount. “Read More


  • Roanoke RICO Indictment: On October 1, 2018, federal, state, and local authorities announced federal racketeering conspiracy charge against four Roanoke gang members and associates. “Read More


In addition to vigorous enforcement efforts, the United States Attorney’s Office maintains strong partnerships with a variety of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies throughout the Western District of Virginia. The United States Attorney’s Office collaborates on PSN initiatives with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, and the Drug Enforcement Administration, and, in its target enforcement areas, with the Danville Police Department, the Commonwealth’s Attorney for the City of Danville, the Roanoke City Police Department, and the Commonwealth’s Attorney for the City of Roanoke.

Moving forward into 2019, the United States Attorney’s Office will expand its PSN programs into more locations throughout the Western District to make the Western District of Virginia an even safer place.

These enforcement actions and partnerships are part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. Attorney General Jeff Sessions reinvigorated PSN in 2017 as part of the Department’s renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement and the local community to develop effective, locally based strategies to reduce violent crime. Learn more about Project Safe Neighborhoods.

Updated October 10, 2018

Project Safe Neighborhoods