The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) recently touted the benefits of the agency’s Violent Crime Initiative (VCI), noting the endeavor recently resulted in criminal charges against 42 defendants for various offenses.
The charges, involving racketeering, violence, narcotics distribution, and federal firearms offenses, stem from five separate investigations conducted by federal, state, and local enforcement partners.
The VCI is a collaborative, multi-agency program that combines New Jersey’s federal, state, and local law enforcement resources to identify, target, and prosecute violent offenders and criminal organizations throughout New Jersey.
“Keeping New Jersey safe and reducing violent crime are core to this Office’s mission, and I have no higher priority as U.S. Attorney,” U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger said. “The scourge of senseless gun violence plagues too many of our communities, particularly in our urban centers. We are committed to protecting the public from violent criminal organizations, and we will relentlessly hold those who harm and threaten the public accountable.”
Shooting incidents statewide and in cities where VCIs operate are lower than the year-to-date total from last year, including a 23 percent reduction statewide, a 30 percent reduction in Newark, a 27 percent reduction in Jersey City, and a 12 percent reduction in Paterson.
“My primary responsibility and focus as Attorney General is keeping the residents of our state safe – whether by tackling a rise in auto thefts or taking actions to prevent gun violence, including by holding violent offenders accountable,” New Jersey Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin said. “As a result of the efforts of various law enforcement agencies, we are once again demonstrating that effectively investigating and prosecuting violent crimes requires collaboration across local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies.”