The Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that it had charged 14200 defendants in Fiscal Year (FY) 2020. The number of charged people hit a five-year high in the Southern District of Illinois. The Southern District of Illinois has seen an increase of 34 percent in gun crimes as compared to the last year. 93 people in this district were charged by the department this year for gun crimes.
The DOJ has been committed to target gun crimes since November 2019. William P. Barr, the US attorney general, announced an anti-violent crime strategy last year to investigate, prosecute, and combat gun crimes effectively. The United States Attorneys’ Office and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) signed a critical law enforcement partnership.
Barr said, “The number one priority of government is to keep its citizen safe.” According to him, the best way to stop violent crimes is to prevent firearms from getting in reach of those who are prohibited from having them. The DOJ said that the violators of firearms laws would face serious consequences upon conviction.
The DOJ will take serious actions against the individuals who buy, sell, possess, or use firearms illegally. Regina Lombardo, the acting director of the ATF, said, “Protecting the public from violent crime involving firearms is at the core of ATF’s mission.” ATF is collaborating with the US attorneys’ offices to investigate and prosecute violent crimes involving firearms on the daily basis.
The statistics released by the DOJ revealed that the Sothern District of Illinois charged more individuals in 2020 as compared to the previous five years. The Great Lakes Fugitive Task Force took action against the most dangerous criminals in the Southern District of Illinois in 2020. US Marshal Brad Maxwell, “It has been my great privilege to assist in assembling one of the finest fugitive task forces in the United States.