Feds cracking down on repeat offenders - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Feds cracking down on repeat offenders

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (FOX13) -

A joint effort between law enforcement and prosecutors in western Tennessee is slamming the jail door on repeat offenders.

Six criminals are behind bars who have only faced state charges in the past, but are now looking at federal prison.

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Small towns like Covington are often considered quiet, safe and unsuspecting. That's exactly what some repeat offenders bank on.  There's an assumption that there is a lack of law enforcement or manpower to track criminals down.

"The U.S. Attorney's Office will remain vigilant. You can run, but you can't hide in the rural counties anymore. This is a prime example of weeding out the worst offenders," says U.S. Attorney Edward Stanton.

Six people were indicted by the Federal Grand Jury for federal drug offenses. All six are well acquainted with the law, and judging by their rap sheets, well accustomed to going to jail.

"For whatever reason they didn't get the message or the memo, this is something, this activity won't be tolerated," adds Stanton.

The repeat offenders have charges ranging from possession of meth or cocaine, intent to sell, manufacturer or distribute and assault. Many of the charges have happened over and over again, with some criminals spending a week to less than a year behind bars.

Prosecutors say when it comes to jail time on a local or state level criminals need to know the game has changed when it comes to the Feds.

"If a defendant is possessing or distributing cocaine as a B felony, gets 8 years at 30%, they're only really doing 2 1/2 years, whereas in the federal system where there's no parole they may be doing 10 to 15 years at 100%," explains 25th Judicial District Attorney General Mike Dunavant.

The latest indictments are a promise from law enforcement and the U.S. Attorney's Office to citizens in Tipton, Fayette and Lauderdale counties to clamp down and rid the area of repeat criminal offenders.

Tipton County Sheriff Pancho Chumley says, "Promises made promises kept. What we're looking at here today to is the warning is clear, the people who are repeat offenders, we're after them."

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