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Ventura County part of new federal effort to crack down on gun violence

Tom Def

Federal prosecutors will take more gun-related cases in Ventura and Los Angeles Counties, using stronger laws with stiffer penalities.

Federal prosecutors are teaming up with law enforcement agencies in Ventura and Los Angeles counties to launch a new push to stop gun violence.

The program will step up prosecution of gun offenders in federal court, where they will face tougher laws and sentences than at the state level.

"In recent years, we've seen an increase in gun vilence. Guns have become easier to acquire," said Martin Estrada. He's the U.S. Attorney for the Central District of California, which includes Ventura, Santa Barbara, and San Luis Obispo Counties

At a Los Angeles news conference, Estrada said he’s assigned four federal prosecutors to specifically deal with these gun related cases.

"With Operation Safe City, we're aiming federal resources, and federal sentencing statutes directly against violent gun criminals," said Estrada.

Ventura County Sheriff Jim Fryhoff says the new program will help the county’s efforts to deal with gun violence.

Lance Orozco has been News Director of KCLU since 2001, providing award-winning coverage of some of the biggest news events in the region, including the Thomas and Woolsey brush fires, the deadly Montecito debris flow, the Borderline Bar and Grill attack, and Ronald Reagan's funeral.