Drug Enforcement Administration

Washington, DC

Jesse R. Fong, Special Agent in Charge

October 17, 2007

Contact: Public Information Officer

Phone Number: (202) 305-8426

Authorities Announce Federal, State and City Partnership to Attack Drug-Trafficking and Violent Crime in Petersburg, VA

OCT 17 -- (Richmond, VA) – Several individuals were arrested in and around Petersburg, Virginia, this week in the first wave of a new federal and state enforcement action known as, "Operation Impact." The initiative, designed to attack drug-trafficking and firearms and other violent crime offenses in the City of Petersburg, began yesterday and is ongoing. Chuck Rosenberg, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Bob McDonnell, Attorney General for the Commonwealth of Virginia; John Dixon, Chief of the Petersburg Bureau of Police; Cassandra Burns, Commonwealth's Attorney for the City of Petersburg; James Gregorius, Assistant Special Agent-In-Charge, Drug Enforcement Administration, Washington Division; William Dunham, Resident Agent-In-Charge, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, Washington Division; Frank Monahan, Director, Bureau of Enforcement, Virginia Department of Alcohol Beverage Control; and Colonel W. Steven Flaherty, Superintendent, Virginia State Police announced the first arrests today at a press conference in Petersburg.

These law enforcement agencies have pooled their resources to identify, arrest, and prosecute those persons who are selling or buying illicit narcotics in the City of Petersburg. Some of those arrested will be prosecuted in the Petersburg courts. Others will be prosecuted in the federal system, where they will face tough sentencing guidelines and may serve any time imposed in federal correctional institutions far from Virginia.

The partners stated that they have already begun identifying additional drug traffickers and users in the City and will have several additional sweeps in the future. The partners said that drug dealers and users now have fair warning. U.S. Attorney Chuck Rosenberg added: "We won't tell you where. We won't tell you when. But we will be back."

Attorney General McDonnell stated: "Operation Impact reflects the type of federal, state, and local law enforcement partnership that works, and that gets criminals off Virginia streets. All citizens deserve to be secure in their homes and their neighborhoods. Today's action has made Petersburg safer, and it is only the beginning of our effort to work with the citizens of Petersburg to make their city an even better place to call home."

State cases will be prosecuted by the Commonwealth's Attorneys Office for the City of Petersburg. Federal cases will be prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney's Office of the Eastern District of Virginia and Special Assistant United States Attorneys from the Office of the Attorney General of Virginia.

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