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US Attorney for Utah launches Summer Anti-Violence Initiative

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(The Center Square) – As temperatures start to rise in Utah, tempers may also rise if violent crime rates are any indication of attitude. To combat this trend, federal law enforcement agencies are supporting a new Summer Anti-Violence Initiative launched by United States Attorney for the District of Utah, Trina Higgins.

“The Summer Anti-Violence Initiative will focus on investigating and prosecuting individuals who create a danger to our communities through violence, repeated criminal activity, and weapons offenses,” a statement by Higgins’ office said.

Higgins, along with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the FBI, and the U.S. the Marshals Service (USMS) will coordinate to reduce violent crime in Utah.

“Through this initiative we will continue working closely with our federal partners to enforce federal law and prosecute those who commit acts of violence in our communities,” Higgins declared.

The initiative comes as a result of a June 14 meeting with U.S Attorney General Merrick B. Garland. Ninety-three U.S. Attorneys and the heads of the Department of Justice’s law enforcement components met and discussed current strategies employed to reduce violent crime and the conditions which fuel them.

Attorney General Merrick B. Garland said, “Among other things, we will be reinforcing the importance of identifying, investing, and prioritizing the prosecution of those who are responsible for the greatest violence in our communities.”

US Attorneys for states were assured that federal state and local partners would continue to support district-specific approaches to violent crime.

Federal partners in Utah have been working with the U.S. Attorney’s Office (USAO) to bring a full range of law enforcement services against the most violent offenders from identification to final prosecution.

In the last two months Utah has seen several men indicted on firearm offenses and two drug dealers arrested. Sixty-three thousand fentanyl pills were sized in June alone.

“As we build on this work this summer, we will also be putting important new tools to use thanks to the passage last year of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act,” Garland assured.

“These tools also include the Act’s new proscriptions against illegal firearms trafficking and straw purchases.”

Assistant U.S. Attorneys will soon supplement state offices providing much needed resources targeting robberies, carjackings, illegal use, trafficking, and possession of firearms, and drug trafficking.

“Our citizens deserve to feel safe,” said U.S. Attorney Higgins.

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