DEA announces launch of Project Safeguard

Published: Oct. 20, 2020 at 4:04 PM EDT
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DETROIT, Mich. (WILX) - On Tuesday, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) announced that they will direct resources to help reduce violent crime within the nation under an initiative called Project Safeguard.

“Drug trafficking and violent crime are inextricably linked,” said DEA Acting Administrator Timothy Shea. “From the extreme levels of violence in Mexican cartels, to the open air drug markets in American cities, drug traffickers employ violence, fear, and intimidation to ply their trade. Neighborhoods across our country are terrorized by violent drug trafficking organizations that have little regard for human life, and profit from the pain and suffering of our people. Along with our law enforcement partners, DEA is committed to safeguarding the health and safety of our communities.”

Detroit Field Special Agent in Charge Keith Martin wants to cut back on drug-related crimes as well.

“Citizens should not have to live in fear in their own neighborhoods. Violent drug dealers have absolutely no place in our communities and the best way we can root out these criminals and bring them to justice is by increasing our collaboration with our local, state and federal partners,” said Detroit Field Division Special Agent in Charge Keith Martin. “We have already seen what targeted law enforcement initiatives like these can do with Operation Legend, which launched this summer in Detroit and Cleveland to great results.”

Through working alongside federal, state, and local partners, the DEA’s Project Safeguard will focus on three areas in many communities across the United States:

  • Dismantling the most significant violent drug trafficking organizations throughout the United States
  • Ensure effective federal prosecution of firearms traffickers associated with drug trafficking organizations
  • Prioritizing the capture of DEA fugitives who employ violence as part of drug trafficking

Since August 2020, Project Safeguard has resulted in nearly 40 cases, more than 40 arrests, more than 100 seized firearms, more than $2.1 million in seized assets, and 338 kilograms of seized controlled substances in Michigan and Ohio.

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