EDVA Forfeits Over 164 Illegal Firearms and Prosecutes 250 Illegal Firearms Offenders in 2022
U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, announced that over the course of the past year, EDVA’s litigative efforts have resulted in the forfeiture of at least 164 illegally owned, possessed, used, or obtained firearms.
ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Jessica D. Aber, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, announced that over the course of the past year (2022), EDVA’s litigative efforts have resulted in the forfeiture of at least 164 illegally owned, possessed, used, or obtained firearms. Firearms that are criminally forfeited are removed from the possession of a convicted criminal defendant and relinquished to the government for disposal, including potentially the return of the firearm to a rightful owner.
“Removing illegal firearms from the hands of felons and other prohibited people is a significant tactic in our office’s efforts to reduce gun violence and keep our communities safe,” said Aber. “If not taken out of circulation, the same weapon can be passed along and used in multiple crimes by many people. The forfeiture of these illegal firearms ensures they will not be used in the future against our law enforcement partners or community members.”
Since the start of 2022, EDVA has charged approximately 250 defendants with federal firearms offenses, including possessing a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking, possession of a firearm as a convicted felon, and straw purchasing of a firearm. These successes are a result of close cooperation between prosecutors and partners at federal and local law enforcement agencies, including the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). EDVA also partners with the Virginia State Police and local police and sheriffs across the District.
EDVA’s efforts to seize and forfeit illegal firearms in 2022 was the result of multiple investigative and prosecutorial efforts, including Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), which seeks to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them, and the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF), whose purpose is to identify, disrupt and dismantle the most serious drug trafficking, weapons trafficking, and money laundering organizations, and those primarily responsible for the nation’s illegal drug supply.
“I’m grateful for the hard work of the DEA teams, EDVA’s litigative efforts, and our law enforcement partners, with whom we were able to execute dozens of arrests and seize illegal firearms from violent drug trafficking organizations. With these actions, these unscrupulous offenders were held accountable, making our communities safer from gun violence and drug trafficking,” mentioned Jarod Forget, DEA Washington Division’s Special Agent in Charge.