TRUMBULL COUNTY Federal agents to increase gun, drug law enforcement
ATF will concentrate its efforts in Warren, Girard and Niles.
By PEGGY SINKOVICH
VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF
WARREN -- Trumbull County needs more attention, says the resident agent in charge of the local office of the U.S. Department of the Treasury Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.
Frank A. D'Alesio, agent in charge of the Youngstown office, says his department now has nine full-time agents and he plans to spend more time focusing on Trumbull County.
"For years this office was understaffed and we were not able to spend a lot of time in other areas," D'Alesio said. "We have recently been able to get more agents here so we are going to get out to as many of the communities as we can."
D'Alesio said the Youngstown ATF office covers 11 counties: Mahoning, Trumbull, Columbiana, Portage, Stark, Wayne, Holmes, Tuscarawas, Carroll, Jefferson and Harrison.
"We will be working with Jeff Orr of the Trumbull County Sheriff's Department and with detectives in Warren, Girard and Niles," D'Alesio said.
"Some of the departments are short staffed, so this will help those agencies out, too, because they will now be able to use all the resources we have here."
Three cities: D'Alesio noted that the local ATF will be more active in all of Trumbull County, but will concentrate its efforts in Warren, Girard and Niles.
"I'm very glad to have their help," said Warren Police Chief John Mandopoulos.
"I've talked to Frank, and he's very aggressive and has some great ideas and programs. We are very willing to use their help and offer whatever assistance we can."
D'Alesio said some crimes the agency wants to target are convicted felons who carry firearms in violation of their parole and drug traffickers who have guns.
"If someone is convicted of a felony they can't have a gun, and these people will sometimes try to get others to buy guns for them. We want to try and stop that from happening," D'Alesio said.
Longer sentences: D'Alesio noted that under federal laws, many criminals will end up doing longer prison sentences than they would if they were arrested on state charges.
"We also want to go after the armed narcotic trafficker," D'Alesio said. "If we make an undercover drug buy and they are carrying a gun, they will automatically get an additional five years of prison time, regardless of the amount of drugs they are selling."
He said he wants to stop the "revolving-door syndrome" in which criminals serve only a short prison term.
"Our goal is to get the criminals off the street and have them doing longer prison terms so neighborhoods can be safer," D'Alesio said.
The ATF is a law enforcement organization "with unique responsibilities dedicated to reducing violent crime, collecting revenue and protecting the public," according to its Web site.
ATF enforces the federal laws and regulations relating to alcohol, tobacco, firearms, explosives and arson.