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Justice Department Establishes Carjacking Task Force in East Texas

The Justice Department has launched carjacking task forces in 11 targeted districts across the United States, aiming to combat violent crime, as announced by U.S. Attorney Damien M. Diggs.

“The Justice Department has no higher priority than keeping our communities safe. We do so by targeting the most significant drivers of violent crime and by acting as a force multiplier for our state and local law enforcement partners. We’re seeing results — with violent crime declining broadly nationwide,” said Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco. “Today, we are launching seven new carjacking task forces across the country to build on the success of task forces in Chicago, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, and Tampa, where available data shows that carjacking rates are now falling. When prosecutors, officers, agents, and analysts come together to crunch data, share intelligence, and apply best practices, we can make real progress in the fight against all forms of violent crime, including carjacking.”

The newly established task forces will focus on identifying, investigating, and prosecuting the most significant drivers of violent crime, aligning with the Department’s Comprehensive Strategy for Reducing Violent Crime.

Seven districts, including the Eastern District of Texas, will inaugurate these task forces, building on the successes and best practices of existing initiatives. Carjacking and other violent crime task forces have shown effectiveness in reducing crime rates, with notable declines in carjacking incidents observed in cities like Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.

Carjacking and other violent crime task forces have proven to be an effective part of successful violent crime reduction strategies by focusing on significant crime drivers and taking violent offenders off the streets of our communities. For example, carjackings in Philadelphia declined by 31% from 2022 to 2023, and armed carjackings are down 28% in the District of Columbia this year compared to the same period in 2023. In Chicago, carjackings decreased 29% from a high in 2021 through the end of 2023.

In the Eastern District of Texas, the task force will be led by Deputy Chief of Violent Crime John B. Ross, in collaboration with the FBI, ATF, and local law enforcement agencies. The task force will prioritize expedited sharing of information, prompt action procedures, effective evidence gathering, and technology exploitation strategies to combat car thefts and carjackings.

Furthermore, the task forces will explore the use of federal sentencing enhancements for cases involving juvenile offenders and collaborate with state and local authorities to address juvenile suspects appropriately. They will also support efforts to secure Justice Department grant funding for juvenile intervention and diversion resources.

The establishment of these task forces underscores the Justice Department's commitment to reducing violent crime and enhancing community safety across the nation.

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