Federal and local justice officials are embarking on a new initiative to tackle crime in the Mississippi capital.
Officials from several agencies presented the Jackson program at a press conference Thursday. The “Violent Firearms Reduction and Prohibition Program” has already started and police have promised many more arrests in 2022.
“Homicides in the city of Jackson have reached record levels in the past two years,” said US Attorney Darren LaMarca. “We see businesses stolen at gunpoint, cars taken at gunpoint, disputes being shot.”
“This initiative will be directed at the perpetrators of this violence and will be led by the FBI,” added LaMarca.
The effort comes on the heels of a record year for homicides in the city, WLBT-TV reported. Last year was Jackson’s deadliest year for homicides, which included the shooting deaths of scores of teens and young adults.
To tackle the high crime rate, the FBI and its partners plan to saturate the streets and prosecute those implicated in gun crimes “to the fullest extent of federal law,” said Jermicha Fomby, special agent in charge of the FBI in Jackson.
“Whether it’s using guns for carjackings, corporate thefts, and other heinous acts … the bottom line is that it doesn’t matter who you are, it doesn’t matter. where you are, there are no limits of jurisdiction that will prevent us from coming for you, ”said Fomby.
As of Thursday, 13 suspects had pending cases or had been charged in the federal system as a result of the program, LaMarca said.
Those arrested and charged by the US attorney’s office go to federal court. If found guilty, they must serve at least 85% of their sentence, with no possibility of parole or suspension.
At least 153 homicides were reported in Jackson in 2021, WLBT-TV reported.