US Attorney announces drug, weapons charges against 22 people

Tuscaloosa Police Chief Steve Anderson says the sought the help of the Federal agencies because the state system fails to adequately sentence repeat offenders.{}

"It seems that we pursue the same people each and every day...arrest the same people over and over again," said Anderson during a combined press conference.

US Attorney Joyce White Vance today announced the arrest of 19 people statewide during a roundup conducted by Federal Bureau Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agents, as well as local and state law enforcement agencies. During a news conference held at Tuscaloosa Police Department headquarters, Vance and ATF Special Agent in Charge Jeffery Fulton, Tuscaloosa Police Chief Steven D. Anderson and Tuscaloosa County Sheriff's Lt. Andy Norris reported the recent indictments of 20 suspects on federal charges and two on state charges. According to authorities, six of the 19 arrested were apprehended today in the Tuscaloosa area. Three suspects facing charges have not yet been arrested.Statements:US Attorney Joyce White Vance{}"Today ATF partnered with the Tuscaloosa Police Department and the Tuscaloosa County Sheriff's Office to take some of the worst offenders off the streets in areas that have become saturated with violent crime. As Americans, we all have Second Amendment rights, but this does not mean we should or will tolerate the use of firearms by criminals. People in our community who use guns to commit violent acts or to further drug crimes need to know there are federal prison cells waiting on them."{}ATF Agent in Charge Jeffrey Fulton"ATF's Frontline strategy utilizes every available resource to make our communities a safer place to live. Violent criminals and gang members continue to use firearms as their tools of the trade to prey upon communities."{}Tuscaloosa Police Chief Steven D. Anderson"The Tuscaloosa Police Department is pleased to get these offenders out of our community and see them be held responsible for the crimes they have committed. This has been an ongoing investigation and we are thankful that the U.S. Attorney's Office is prosecuting the cases. Working with the ATF and other law enforcement agencies to keep Tuscaloosa a safe community will always be a top priority."{}