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'The violence must stop': Federal partnership leads to indictment of 27 people in Raleigh on gun and drug charges

U.S. Attorney Michael Easley Jr. said that there have already been 24 homicides so far this year in Raleigh. He said the city had 33 homicides total in 2021.

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Chelsea Donovan
, WRAL reporter
RALEIGH, N.C. — U.S. Attorney Michael Easley Jr. is urging for violent crime to stop in central North Carolina.

On Tuesday, the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina announced the establishment of the Violent Crime Action Partnership (VCAP) in Raleigh.

“As you know, violent crime is on the rise nationally, particularly gun violence,” Easley said. “And, as we’ve seen in the recent days and months, North Carolina is not immune.”

Easley said on Tuesday that there have already been 24 homicides so far this year in Raleigh. He said the city had 33 homicides total in 2021.

“We are also sending a message that the violence must stop,” Easley said. “We are prioritizing cases involving the illegal possession of firearms, gun trafficking and straw purchases, armed gangs and drug trafficking organizations and shootings in our community.”

Several area law enforcement agencies joined Easley on Tuesday to announce that grand juries have indicted 27 people in the last three weeks in Raleigh. Easley said those people face a total of 50 federal and 25 state charges.

Law enforcement agencies seized significant quantities of cocaine, heroin, fentanyl and crack. Authorities have also seized 26 guns, including one ghost gun, and more than 200 rounds of ammunition, Easley said.

Easley said law enforcement has a vital role in protecting people and safeguarding communities.

Raleigh Police Chief Estella Patterson thanked Easley for establishing the VCAP partnership in Raleigh.

“This is what we need in our community,” Patterson said. “I am happy to know that Mr. Easley shares my desire to make Raleigh the safest city in the country and has fully committed the resources to move in that direction.”

Patterson also discussed law enforcement agencies working together to keep the community safe. It includes the Raleigh Police Department; the U.S. Attorney’s Office; Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF); the FBI and the U.S. Marshals Service.

“I believe it’s these types of collaborations and partnerships that enables law enforcement to keep the streets of Raleigh safe, and those who seek to victimize,” Patterson said.

Patterson also thanked the community for its support.

“We cannot do the work that we do without the public support,” Patterson said.

ATF Assistant Special Agent in Charge Anthony Spotswood also spoke Tuesday.

“Our mission here at ATF is to identify and target those individuals who are committing violent crime in our communities,” Spotswood said. “This initiative did just that.”


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