More federal attorneys being hired to help prosecute crimes in greater-Charlottesville area
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Virginia is getting additional resources to make sure that everyone who commits a crime is held accountable.
The district is getting six new assistant U.S. attorneys. This includes three who will be focused on violent crime, and two on civil rights.
U.S. Attorney Christopher Kavanaugh says this will help combat gun violence and hate crimes in Charlottesville. He says his office has increased violent crime prosecutions by 63% this year, and firearm offense by nearly 200%.
“A lot of times in the federal systems, the sentences are higher where it’s appropriate, and those send a message to those individuals that have either committed criminal conduct or thinking about it,” Kavanaugh said.
There is no hate crime statue in Virginia, which means the federal office is responsible for prosecuting all of those cases.’
“We’ve seen a uptick in hate crime throughout the entire country, but the problem with the Western District of Virginia - one of the problems that we see - is that a lot of times they’re not reported,” Kavanaugh said.
He says he wants to work with the community to encourage people to report possible hate crimes to the FBI.
“It’s a recognition of the fact that we’re a growing district that people are moving here. And with that comes the need for additional federal prosecutors to be able to prosecute and hold accountable people who commit crimes,” Kavanaugh said.
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