Federal prosecutors are working more closely with local law enforcement agencies throughout Eastern North Carolina in an effort to reduce violent crime and drug trafficking.
"We are prepared to work at this problem until every community, every neighborhood, every street and every home is safe and secure and free from the worry of violent crime and drugs," U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina Robert Higdon told reporters at a press conference at the Craven County Sheriff's Office on Friday.
Over the last several weeks, Higdon has been traveling across Eastern North Carolina to share with the public his "Take Back North Carolina" initiative, which involves increasing cooperation between the U.S. Attorney's Office and local law enforcement agencies to identify more criminal cases that could be tried in federal court. The effort follows the Trump administration's pledge to get tougher on crime, said Higdon, who was appointed by the president last May.
"We are taking North Carolina back from the drug dealers and violent criminals. We are taking North Carolina back from the doctors and pharmacists who overprescribe and illegally distribute prescription drugs," Higdon said.
Under his leadership, the office has assigned attorneys to six sections of the district, Higdon said. Those prosecutors will have a greater presence in the region, working with local law enforcement agencies and district attorney's offices to pursue federal charges in cases that qualify.