U.S. Attorney Justin Herdman and Toledo Police Chief George Kral announced today the launch of Operation Red-Zone in the city of Toledo over the Labor Day holiday weekend. Joining the U.S. Attorney and Toledo Police Chief in the announcement were representatives from the ATF, DEA, FBI, U.S. Marshals, Lucas County Prosecutor, Lucas County Sherriff and the Ohio State Highway Patrol.
“It is no secret that violent crime in the city of Toledo and elsewhere around the country has been increasing,” said U.S. Attorney Herdman. “With the Labor Day holiday weekend approaching, I’m announcing the launch of Operation Red-zone in the city of Toledo. What this means is that if you are prohibited from possessing a firearm under federal law, either because you have a prior felony conviction, a prior misdemeanor conviction, or some other disqualifying condition, then you are in the Red-Zone. If you possess a firearm this weekend while in the Red-Zone, we are going to stop you and prosecute you in federal court.”
“In a year where gun violence has spiked not only in Toledo but across our nation, this closer collaboration with the U.S. Attorney’s office over the upcoming Labor Day weekend could not come at a better time,” said Toledo Police Chief George Kral. “It is my department’s job to keep Toledoans safe by taking illegal guns out of the hands of violent offenders; the extra assistance from Attorney Herdman’s office will be crucial in taking those criminals off the street and keeping them behind bars for a long time. With the hope of peace in the forefront of our minds, we also remain grounded that the threat of violence exists and we are prepared to prevent it.”
“ATF is here with our law enforcement partners to encourage everyone to take a step back from the violence and enjoy a peaceful Labor Day weekend,” stated Roland Herndon, ATF’s Special Agent in Charge for the Columbus Field Division. “But be aware, if you choose to use firearms to commit crimes, ATF and our law enforcement partners will be there, working to hold you accountable for those acts.”
During the press conference, U.S. Attorney Herdman announced that the Northern District will pursue federal charges, where applicable, against individuals who are prohibited under federal law from possessing firearms, or who otherwise use firearms in a violent crime or drug trafficking offense. In addition, the U.S. Attorney announced that law enforcement agents with ATF, DEA, FBI and U.S. Marshals will be out in full force over the holiday weekend.
“The people of the city of Toledo deserve peace and days and nights free from anxiety and fears caused by violent criminals, said U.S. Attorney Herdman. “We will stop at nothing to ensure that people who are causing this violence are put in federal prison.”