LAWFUEL – The Law Newswire – R. Alexander Acosta, United S…

LAWFUEL – The Law Newswire – R. Alexander Acosta, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, announced the formation of a district-wide U.S. Attorney Violent Crimes Task Force. The Task Force, which will be comprised of 15 federal prosecutors from the four branch offices of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, will focus on utilizing federal resources to help prosecute gang-related violent crime cases in South Florida.

The Task Force will focus on both reactive and proactive gang-related violent crime cases. On both the reactive and proactive fronts, the Task Force will use a wide array of federal laws to prosecute the most violent offenders for federal firearms and narcotics violations as other violent federal crimes, including bank robbery, car jacking, and Hobbs Act violations. In addition, the Task Force will focus on federal prosecutions of individuals related to ongoing state or federal investigations or priority targets.

On short-term reactive matters, federal prosecutors will continue to aggressively prosecute gangs, criminal organizations, and individuals who have committed violent criminal acts in South Florida. With the creation of the Task Force, the U.S. Attorney’s Office will be better equipped to respond quickly and efficiently to violent gang-related criminal activity, allowing federal prosecutors to work more closely with state and local law enforcement to identify the perpetrators of these acts.

On proactive longer-term investigations, the Task Force will work with the FBI, ATF, DEA, ICE, and with local sheriffs and police departments to target violent drug organizations and other criminal groups that use firearms to further their goals. Because the Task Force will be working on a variety of proactive matters, the Task Force will include veteran prosecutors from various sections in the Office, including Organized Crime and National Security prosecutors, in addition to the Project Safe Neighborhood prosecutors in the Major Crimes section in Miami.

U.S. Attorney Acosta stated, “Gang violence leads to the death of innocent victims and to the destruction of entire neighborhoods. With the creation of this Violent Crimes Task Force, the U.S. Attorneys Office will aggressively prosecute gang-related violent crimes. But aggressive prosecutions alone are not enough. We must also help improve the opportunities offered to young men and women in the communities where these gangs develop, as we do in our Weed and Seed Program.”

U.S. Attorney Acosta thanked Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle, Broward Sheriff Ken Jenne, and Sheriff Rick Bradshaw of Palm Beach County for their help in coordinating this effort. Acosta also commended Broward State Attorney Michael Satz and Palm Beach State Attorney Barry E. Krischer for their sustained efforts in reducing gang-related violence, and in particular, for their cooperation and expertise in this anti-gang initiative. The U.S. Attorney also noted the dedicated efforts of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Broward County Sheriff’s Office, the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office, the St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office, the Martin County Sheriff’s Office, the Miami-Dade Police Department, the City of Miami Police Department, the North Miami Beach Police Department, the Opa Locka Police Department, the Homestead Police Department, the Bal Harbour Police Department, and the many other local departments whose efforts help make our streets safer from gangs and gang-related violence.

A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida at www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.

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