Drug Driven Robberies Prompt New Task Force
Overwhelmed by a startling increase in violent crimes and associated deaths in the greater Pittsburgh area, federal law enforcement has decided to take action. The FBI is putting a new task force into effect to pursue enforcement against violent criminal activities in Allegheny and Beaver counties – especially those involving drug-driven armed robberies. If you’re facing robbery charges, you need the legal advocacy provided by an experienced Pittsburgh robbery lawyer.
Regardless of the circumstances or nature of your robbery charge, Worgul, Sarna & Ness, Criminal Defense Attorneys can put together an effective defense to fight for the best possible outcome on your behalf. Call us today at (412) 281-2146 to schedule a free consultation.
The Task Force
With $100,000 of federal funding from the Project Safe Neighborhoods program initiated by the U.S. Justice Department, the new task force is receiving resources to cover equipment and overtime. Two federal agents from the violent crime squad working from the FBI’s Pittsburgh field office will join local law enforcement officers from Allegheny and Beaver Counties.
The acting U.S. attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania, Soo Song, and the Assistant Agent in Charge of the Pittsburgh FBI Office, Chad Yarbrough, have said that the task force’s mission is to address the violent crime increases in some communities, particularly store and bank robberies.
Crimes Driven by Opioid Addiction and Trafficking
According to Yarbrough, many violent crimes are propelled by opioid addiction and trafficking. The local police and FBI responded to over 50 bank robberies in 2016, half of which involved a firearm.
The development of the task force and its efforts are intended to send a message that violent crimes, including those involving robbery combined with drugs, will not be tolerated within the community.
Violent crime in the city of Pittsburgh increased from 2015 to 2016, with increases reported for aggravated assaults, rapes, and robberies. Overall, the violent crime rate in the city increased by about nine percent.
In its unveiling of the new task force, the FBI noted that many counties surrounding the Pittsburgh area have a higher violent crime rate than Philadelphia. Much of this crime is attributed to illegal drugs, their use, sale, and distribution.
Agent Yarbrough stated, “I think there’s a multitude of factors, but I do think that the opioid crisis we have here is the largely contributing factor.”
Beaver County district attorney David Lozier is eager to have the new help for his region. According to Lozier, the drug transactions mostly occur in the river towns of Beaver County. Many of the drug users and overdose cases are located in the rural areas.
“And the guns follow the drug transactions,” Mr. Lozier said.
Speak to an Experienced Pittsburgh Robbery Lawyer
If you are a robbery charge in Pittsburgh or its surrounding areas, trust the strong and experienced representation provided by Worgul, Sarna & Ness, Criminal Defense Attorneys, LLC to fight vigorously on your behalf.