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Recently reappointed U.S. Attorney for Minnesota Andrew Luger promised a federal crackdown on violence this week, saying that every attorney in his office will now focus on prosecuting carjackings, shootings, and other violent crimes.
“In 2022, the right to participate in the life of our community, in safety, is being eroded. This is simply unacceptable,” Luger, who was sworn into office in late March, said at a press conference on Tuesday. “We cannot allow this plague of violence to continue.”
Luger cited a surge in carjackings in Minnesota’s cities, including more than 650 last year in Minneapolis and more than 100 in the state capitol of St. Paul.
“It is a federal crime to engage in carjacking. Starting today, if you are 18 or older and engage in a carjacking in Minnesota that involves violence or the threat of violence, you will face federal charges,” Luger said.
Minnesota’s largest cities have also seen a surge in homicides, with 97 last year in Minneapolis and 38 in St. Paul. It marked the most in both cities since the 1990s.
MINNESOTA POLICE CHIEFS SEE ‘UNSUSTAINABLE’ CRIME SPIKE: ‘NEVER SEEN GUN VIOLENCE LIKE THIS’
Luger also pledged to go after illegal guns with other federal law enforcement officers, including cases involving the possession of “auto sears” that convert firearms to fully automatic, the criminal trafficking of weapons, and the manufacturing of ghost guns.
“The FBI is specifically leveraging its Violent Crimes Task Force and its Safe Streets Task Force in the fight against violent crimes and criminal gang activity,” Michael Paul, FBI Special Agent in Charge of the Minneapolis field office, said Tuesday.
A slew of charges were announced this week against suspects in Minnesota.
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Jay James Olson, 21, was charged with manufacturing firearms without a license and possession of a machine gun after law enforcement officials say they found multiple ghost guns, high-capacity magazines, a silencer, and other illegal firearms and accessories.
Another suspect, 31-year-old Dovyion Daquay Glass, was arrested for allegedly carjacking, kidnapping, and beating a victim for hours.