July 20, 2015
Contact: SA John Leonard
Phone Number: (314) 538-4600
ST. LOUIS - DEA and its local partners today unveiled “Mission SAVE,” a new initiative to reduce violence in the St. Louis area. The title “Mission Save” denotes the long term commitment and SAVE is the acronym for “Strike Against Violence Early.”
This initiative is an unprecedented collaboration between: the Drug Enforcement Administration, Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Missouri, St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department, St. Louis Circuit Attorney’s Office, St. Louis County Police Department, and the St. Louis County Prosecutor’s Office.
“Arrests are not enough,” says DEA Special Agent in Charge, James Shroba. “That is why this collaborative effort between law enforcement, the prosecutors and the community is so important. The focus will be on getting the most violent offenders off the streets by using all available resources.” The most violent offenders will have the full, focused attention of law enforcement at all levels. SAC Shroba stressed that while a long term goal will be to ultimately dismantle the drug trafficking organizations, there will be a rapid response to drug and gun related violence.
Since it was launched late last December, the Mission SAVE task force has made 79 arrests, 16 of which are considered the most violent offenders in the greater St. Louis area. Additionally, as a result of the investigations, 108 illegal firearms were taken off the streets. The total drugs seized include: 34 kilograms of methamphetamine, 31 kilograms of cocaine, and 2 kilograms of heroin.Special Agent in Charge Shroba stated that the second component of “Mission SAVE,” - the community involvement- is just as vital as the law enforcement component. The task force will engage local governments, non-profits, community service providers, universities, and community leaders to offer “viable alternatives” to violence. These alternatives will be communicated to the offenders so they know that violence is not the only option.