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New training helps local police nab armed criminals on federal charges

Last Updated 2 days by Amnon J. Jobi | Amnon Front Page

GREENFIELD, Ind. (WISH) — It’s a partnership between the Hancock County Prosecutor’s Office and the U.S. Attorneys’ Office: a special training that helps local law enforcement identify and target dangerous and violent criminals.

The goal is to share intelligence, resources and tactics with local police like what evidence to look for or factors to consider in taking firearm and violent crime cases to federal court.

Hancock County Prosecutor Brent Eaton said, “It’s exciting for us because they have tools and resources to hold these violent offenders to a greater degree than what they do and tie them to national and international networks.”

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Part of their focus is getting machine-gun conversion devices, such as the Glock gun switch, out of criminals’ hands which are federally banned and illegal in the state.

“What we’re seeing is more and more dangerous folks with fire arms and seeing more and more dangerous firearms with things that make them fully automatic weapons or other things which makes them dangerous,” Eaton said. 

News 8 was not allowed in the actual training itself because undercover officers were attending, and the organizers wanted to protect certain information they don’t want criminals to know. But, some of what they’ll go over included cutting-edge evidence collection and techniques. 

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By working along side the U.S. Attorneys’ Office, police officers can learn what evidence is needed not just for local but also for federal cases.

Zach Myers is the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Indiana, based in Indianapolis. He said, “Sharing those tools make it easier to bring cases to federal court that originate in Hancock County as well as helping them in their prosecutions.”

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By streamlining the process, local violent offenders may be seeing federal time.

The U.S. Attorneys’ Office says mandatory minimum sentences have no parole and no bond, and inmates must serve 85% of their time.

Myers said, “We know a disproportionate amount of gun violence is perpetuated by people who are armed in violation of federal and state laws. If we can identify them, disarm them and hold them accountable for illegal gun possession before they will pull the trigger, we will save lives.”