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Attorney General’s Office Secures Over 50 Indictments in St. Louis Since Launch of Safer Streets Initiative

   

Since the first charges in St. Louis were issued through the Safer Streets Initiative roughly 100 days ago, Assistant Attorneys General deputized as Special Assistant U.S. Attorneys (SAUSAs) have secured 58 indictments to date. Charges filed against defendants range from felon in possession of a firearm to drug trafficking to carjacking resulting in death.

As one of his first acts as Attorney General, Schmitt launched the Safer Streets Initiative in St. Louis with U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District Jeff Jensen in late January 2019. The initiative was expanded to include Kansas City and Springfield in late February with U.S. Attorney for the Western District Tim Garrison.

Through the Safer Streets Initiative, an unprecedented cooperative effort between state and federal agencies, Assistant Attorneys General from the Attorney General’s Office have been deputized as Special Assistant U.S. Attorneys with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in order to charge crimes in federal court under harsher federal sentencing guidelines. Five SAUSAs were sworn in in St. Louis in late April and two SAUSAs in Kansas City and one SAUSA in Springfield were sworn in in late August.

“As the Attorney General, fighting crime and violent behavior and protecting the innocent is of paramount importance. But for each of us, we all have important roles to play. My job is to prosecute those who have broken the law and have harmed victims and their families,” said Attorney General Schmitt in the press conference.

Schmitt continued, “Since our SAUSAs have been up and running and issued their first charges in late June, we’ve charged 58 individuals with single and multiple counts of criminal acts in just over 100 days. There is no question that criminals have been emboldened. But, make no mistake, we will be relentless in our efforts and prosecutions. We simply cannot stand by while our communities, our families, are being ripped apart by violence.”

“The addition of these five Special Assistant United States Attorneys as part of the Safer Streets Initiative has played an important role in our offices’ joint missions of combating violent crime, reducing the murder rate, and protecting every member of the community. During 2019, the Violent Crime and Project Safe Neighborhoods units of the United States Attorney’s Office obtained indictments in over 530 defendants into violent crimes, to date. These five SAUSAs have skillfully contributed to those outcomes. We are confident that this partnership will continue to yield important, successful results here in the Saint Louis Metropolitan Area and across Missouri,” said United States Attorney Jeff Jensen following today’s press conference.

The breakdown of individual charges filed in the 58 indictments are as follows: 59 criminal possession of firearms and ammunition charges, 30 drug trafficking or distribution related charges, 12 possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking charges, 4 carjacking or carjacking resulting in death charges, 4 supervised release revocation charges, 3 Hobbs Act robbery charges, 3 discharge of use of a firearm in a criminal act charges, and several other miscellaneous charges.

Examples of unsealed federal indictments can be found here and here.

Video from the press conference can be found here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-lMSCnjtq_w&feature=youtu.be and photos can be found below.