New area law enforcement partnerships already boosting federal gun cases

A partnership between multiple agencies has boosted the number of federal gun prosecutions in the region as they battle gun crimes, officials said.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF) embedded two agents with Dayton police and one with the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office starting in January 2018. Officials say the added manpower, technology and prosecution options are important factors in lowering gun violence.

The ATF and Dayton police wanted to form a partnership right at the same time. But why? Officials on all sides discuss the issue in our special report »

Cincinnati/Dayton ATF Resident Agent in Charge Clayton Merrill and federal prosecutors said official statistics are not yet available, but federal cases against felons possessing guns may have tripled in fiscal year 2018 from fiscal year 2017.

“It’s just another resource for us,” Montgomery County Sheriff Phil Plummer said. “When you get federal agents embedded in your department, you bring in the federal assets.”

Dayton police Major Brian Johns said his unit has worked 11 cases with ATF agents. Six have been prosecuted in common pleas court, and five have gone to Dayton’s U.S. District Court.

“It gives us a lot more avenues to address violent crime,” Johns said.

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