ATF

Sample Block


Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

Northern District of Ohio

www.justice.gov/usao/oh

For Immediate Release

June 14, 2011

Steven M. Dettelbach, United States Attorney

Contact: Mike Tobin, U.S. Attorney's Office
(216) 622-3651
mike.tobin@usdoj.gov

Federal, State and Local Officials Announce Kickoff of 2011 V-GRIP Effort

Seven people were arrested and an assault rifle was seized during the first weekend of this year’s V–GRIP program, federal, state and local law enforcement officials announced today. This program is the cornerstone of my office’s efforts to make the Mahoning Valley safer, said Steven M. Dettelbach, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio. V–GRIP is a prime example of what happens when agencies and departments combine their resources and work together. We will build off the success we had last summer and work to take illegal firearms off the streets.

The program began this past weekend with seven new arrests, an additional 18 people arrested on outstanding warrants and the seizure of an assault rifle. Charges are pending in those cases.

The V–GRIP initiative shares the goals of the Ohio Attorney General’s office to protect Ohio families from violent crime and make encounters safer for law enforcement officers, said Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine. I commend and encourage the participation of of Ohio law enforcement in V–GRIP.

The days are heating up for criminals in the Mahoning Valley this summer, but soon they will feel the cold steel bars of justice. ATF is joining forces with Valley law enforcement in the V–GRIP initiative to take back the neighborhoods and stop gun violence, said Robert J. Browning, Special Agent in Charge, ATF Columbus Field Division.

The FBI and its partners are committed to combating gang and violent activity in the Mahoning Valley, said Stephen D. Anthony, Special Agent in Charge, Cleveland Office. This multi–agency initiative will help take dangerous offenders off our streets with the goal of making our neighborhoods safer.

V–GRIP stands for Violence Gun Reduction and Interdiction Program. It includes participation from: the U.S. Attorney’s Office; the U.S. Marshal Service; the Federal Bureau of Investigation; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; the Drug Enforcement Administration; the Federal Probation Service; the Ohio Adult Parole Authority; the Ohio State Highway Patrol; the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation; the Mahoning County Prosecutor’s Office; the Mahoning County Sheriff’s Office; the Youngstown City Prosecutor; the Youngstown Police Department; the Warren Police Department; the Mahoning Valley Law Enforcement Task Force and the Trumbull County Probation Department, among others.

These agencies are working together to put additional officers on the streets of Youngstown, Warren and surrounding communities to supplement regular patrols. They share intelligence and use crime mapping software and other technology to target specific neighborhood crime hot spots.

The goal is to identify repeat violent offenders, with an emphasis on reducing gun violence. Those arrested and found to be in possession of illegal firearms, drugs or other contraband could then be prosecuted in either federal or state court.

The officers and agents participating have undergone extensive training in the past month about safeguarding suspects’ rights while searching for guns and other contraband.

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