EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSTARGETING CRIME
from Eyewitness News Online
Feds Launch Drug Market Intervention On Charleston's West Side
Reported by: Kallie Cart
Web Producer: Kallie Cart
Reported: Feb. 28, 2012 6:56 PM EST
Charleston , Kanawha County , West Virginia
A drug related shooting in Charleston comes as a new initiative is announced to crack down on crime and drugs on the city's west side.
The US Attorney's Office is joining forces with Charleston police for a drug market intervention in the area. They've released an A-List of their top targets. Nine people are on the list, all facing federal gun and drug charges. Authorities say the nine have been identified as the root of the problems on the West Side.
"These are the offenders who are creating the havoc that you're seeing on the West Side," US Attorney Booth Goodwin says.
There's also a B-List of less serious offenders. Authorities will work with the community to come up with ways to give those on that list a second chance.
"The community has asked us to give them a second chance but we've got cases on these individuals and if they slip up they move to the top of the A-list," Goodwin says.
Goodwin says the initiative is proven. Huntington's Fairfield neighborhood once accounted for 60% of the city's drug crime. After the intervention, it dropped to just 10%. Goodwin says the crime didn't just go elsewhere either, he says it disappeared.
"It marks a new beginning for a community that needs a new beginning," Goodwin says. But he also adds that the program does not work unless the community gets involved.
A staged intervention is set for this Thursday, March 1st where the B-listers, along with family members, law enforcement and members of the community will all come together to develop a strategy to help get those offenders on the right path.
The meeting is at 6pm at the New Covenant Missionary Baptist Church on First Avenue.
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