By TODD STACY, Alabama Daily News
A special joint operation between federal, state and local law enforcement has resulted in the arrests of 24 suspects and the confiscation of 50 illegal firearms.
U.S. Attorneys for the Middle and Southern Districts of Alabama joined Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall and local sheriffs to announce the results of “Operation Focused Remedy,” which is aimed at reducing violent crime in Selma and the greater Gulf Coast region.
“These actions and more in the future are part of a team effort of law enforcement combining resources and manpower to go after the most violent criminals in our state,” Attorney General Steve Marshall said.
“It is making a difference. To all violent criminals, we are sending you a strong message: We know who you are and we are going to put you behind bars.”
Richard Moore, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Alabama, said the level of gun violence in South Alabama is “too high.”
“I appreciate the combined efforts of our federal, state and local law enforcement partners to interrupt this pattern of federal firearms violations. The U.S. Attorney’s Office will stand with the citizens of our district to insist on our streets being safe for our children and particularly safe from gun violence. Our office in the near future will have a greater presence in Selma as a part of this new initiative.”
The participating agencies include Alabama Attorney General’s Office, Selma Police Department, U.S. Marshals Service, Gulf Coast Task Force, DEA, Moundville Police Department, 4th Judicial District Attorney’s Office, 4th and 17th Judicial Drug Task Forces as well as Dallas, Hale and Marengo County Sheriff’s Offices.
ATF’s Crime Gun Intelligence resources include firearms tracing, the use of NIBIN (National Integrated Ballistic Information Network) and the issues surrounding stolen firearms from the public. The 24 defendants facing current gun charges all have multiple prior felony convictions.
The cases are part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program aimed to reduce violent crime. Attorney General Jeff Sessions reinvigorated PSN in 2017 as part of the Department of Justice’s renewed focus on targeting violent criminals.
It is the latest in a string of crackdowns on drugs and violent crime in Central and South Alabama. 11 were arrested in Selma back in January and then 15 were arrested in Montgomery in March – all for gun violence.