(FOX 9) - The U.S. Attorney for Minnesota Andrew Luger has announced a federal crackdown on violent crimes, saying they’ve already prosecuted the first wave of cases and more are on the way.
And he’s clearly hoping that promise is itself a significant deterrent to bring the violent crime trends down.
"End the plague of violence now," Luger said during the announcement. "You have a choice and now is the time to walk away."
Luger, who returned to the post five weeks ago, said all of the prosecutors in his office, 42 of them total, regardless of their focus, are now also working on violent crime prosecutions. And he’s hoping for increased funding to hire up to eight more.
The U.S. Attorney for Minnesota Andrew Luger has announced a federal crackdown on violent crimes.
One major focus is on violent carjackings, which rose dramatically throughout the past year or so, and will now be handled by his office, which brings with it far harsher prison terms.
"Starting today, if you are 18 or older and engage in a carjacking in Minnesota, that involves violence or the threat of violence, you will face federal charges that carry stiff sentences," Luger said.
The FBI is now tasked with tracking down carjacking suspects.
"We will find you. We will take you off the street. And we will ensure you are held accountable," FBI Special Agent in Charge Michael Paul said.
Another major focus is on illegal weapons, whether those are guns carried by people who’ve lost the right to do so, or are illegally modified or manufactured. A main target of prosecution are what are known as Auto-Sears, which are switches that turn guns fully automatic.
A main target of prosecution are what are known as Auto-Sears, which are switches that turn guns fully automatic.
"They’ve been an increasing problem here," noted AFT Special Agent in Charge William McCrary, "and they make dangerous individuals even more so."
They’ll also crackdown on so-called "ghost guns," which are often made from kits or 3D printers.
The Minnesota BCA is also part of the effort, refocusing their lab work to faster process evidence from violent gun cases. They’ve already logged 800 hours of overtime in their lab this year, and say their commitment runs through September.
But Luger said their crackdown does not have a time limit. They’ll keep pushing for federal prosecutions of violent crimes to bring the numbers down.
"Everyone within the sound of my voice contemplating the next carjacking, or engaged in gang activity or trafficking illegal weapons," Luger said, "is forewarned."