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Authorities to increase enforcement to address gun crimes in Columbus

Columbus has seen more than 120 homicides in 2020.
Credit: WBNS-10TV
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COLUMBUS, Ohio — Law enforcement officials announced Wednesday its plans to address gun crimes in the Hilltop and Linden neighborhoods in Columbus.

Several agencies spoke at a press conference to announce an increase in enforcement.

The U.S. Attorney's Office said federal and local law enforcement agencies will jointly identify dangerous suspects for federal prosecution.

"Under federal law, it is illegal to possess a firearm if you fall into one of nine prohibited categories, including being a felon, convicted of a misdemeanor domestic violence offense or under a court authorized restraining order. These crimes can be punished by up to 10 years in federal prison," the U.S. Attorney's Office said in a press release.

U.S. Attorney David DeVillers said he is organizing the resources in his office to handle the anticipated increase in federal cases.

The Franklin County Prosecutor's Office and the Columbus City Attorney's Office said specific staff will be assigned to these cases as well.

You can watch the press conference below.

U.S. Attorney David DeVillers, Columbus Police Chief Tom Quinlan, Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O'Brien, Columbus City Attorney Zach Klein and ATF Special Agent in Charge Roland Herndon attended the press conference

Columbus has seen more than 120 homicides in 2020.

The U.S. Attorney's Office said in a release:

According to local crime statistics, 20 homicides were committed from January to mid-September 2020 in Columbus Division of Police zone 3, which includes the Hilltop. There were 11 homicides during that time in precinct 10 alone. Precinct 10 makes up a quarter of zone 3 and is located south of Broad Street, straddling I-270. The Hilltop police zone reported 35 non-fatal shootings this summer.

Columbus police zone 4 encompasses Linden. During the first eight and a half months of 2020, 24 homicides were committed in zone 4. There were 36 non-fatal shootings in zone 4 during summer 2020.

Linden precincts 2 and 5, located along Cleveland Ave. east of I-71 and north of I-670, accounted for 23 of the zone’s 24 homicides and 30 of the zone’s 36 non-fatal shootings.

City wide, the Columbus Division of Police seized more than 1,500 illegal firearms via search warrants and misdemeanor and felony investigations from January through September 2020. In September alone, 244 firearms were seized via the same means.

RELATED: Columbus City Council discusses options to end gun violence