ATF details recent "surge" in Flint - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

ATF details recent "surge" in Flint

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(10/11/12) - You may have noticed them - an increase of federal agents in the last couple of months.

Authorities detailed the "surge" Thursday.

It was a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, or ATF, led effort.  The ATF calls it a Violent Crime Reduction Partnership or VCRP. It's happening across the country, but only in Flint in Michigan.

There was a four month "surge" of federal law enforcement resources to supplement departments in the Genesee County area.

"Due to the hard work of our dedicated special agents, federal, state and local partners, we were able to make a positive impact on the streets of Flint," says ATF Special Agent in Charge, of the Detroit Field Division, David McCain.

Twelve additional, special agents were brought in from around the country.  They've been in the Flint area since July 9.  They will be leaving in the next week or so.

"To the extent in which we measure success, by the number of arrests, guns taken off the streets and ultimately convictions, I am totally confident this will be viewed as a successful surge and initiative," says Assistant U.S. Attorney Craig Wininger.

The "surge" has resulted in 130 arrests and 125 firearms recovered.  More than 10,000 grams, or roughly 22 pounds, of drugs were seized as well as $134,654.

Maybe most telling, the number of prior arrests tied to defendants taken into custody again - 823 for 130 people.  Included in that group, 158 prior felony convictions. 

Flint Police Chief Alvern Lock says the effort has made a difference.

"It would not have been possible, and I continue to say this, without the cooperation of all the partners," Lock says.

"We realize there is more hard work to be done, but we need community members to be partners with law enforcement in this fight against violent crime," says McCain.

The public is encouraged to report gun violence.  The message "HELP US HELP YOU! - Report Gun Violence" is displayed on several poster boards and buses that run throughout the city.

You can call the ATF hotline, 1-800-ATF-GUNS, to report crimes.  Information that leads to a successful prosecution may provide a reward of up to $10,000.  Tips may be reported anonymously. 

Area agencies participating in the ATF effort include the Flint Police Department, U.S. Attorneys' Office, Genesee County Sheriff's Department, Michigan State Police, Grand Blanc Township Police Department, U.S. Marshals, FBI, DEA, Michigan Department of Corrections, Saginaw Police Department, Lapeer County Sheriff's Department and the Genesee County Prosecutor's Office. 



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