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Authorities pledge to crack down on crime with more drug charges

Authorities and lawmakers often try new initiatives to combat crime in their jurisdiction. In Eastern North Carolina, federal authorities are joining forces with state and local law enforcement in an effort to combat violent and drug crime in the area. Under the new initiative, called the Take Back North Carolina Initiative, federal prosecutors will be focused on filing drug charges across the eastern part of the state.

The Take Back North Carolina Initiative was announced in New Bern in May 2018. The initiative was announced by the United States Attorney's Office, which hopes to target the most serious offenders in six geographic regions across the state. Among these are Kinston, Jacksonville and New Bern.

The U.S. Attorney referenced rising drug addiction and crime rates when announcing the new initiative. He said the activity will not be limited to street criminals. Federal prosecutors will also work to remove the licenses of doctors who overprescribe drugs, as well as charging drug dealers with murder if the illicit substance they sell causes a fatal overdose. This means that dealers who previously would have faced trafficking violations alone may now be charged with more serious crimes.

The U.S. Attorney's Office says it plans to revisit the communities and update them on the progress of the initiative. Reportedly, "progress" has already been made in North Carolina over the past two decades, but the focus is on continuing to lower rates of violent crime and drug violations in the state. Those facing federal drug charges who live in North Carolina may have to contend with these harsher law enforcement measures, so speaking with a lawyer to understand defense options is important.

Source: wnct.com, "U.S. Attorney's Office fighting crime and drugs in Eastern N.C. through initiative", Elizabeth Tew, May 18, 2018

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