It comes in the form of a strict federal law that law enforcement could use
against local criminals. Tougher sentences, time served in federal prison, it's
all part of an initiative
City of Rockford Mayor Larry Morrissey says "one of the things they did over a decade ago was to partner with federal prosecutors, federal FBI, ATF agents, etcetera and go after these complex but important prosecutions under what's known as the federal RICO Act."
Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act otherwise known as RICO targets organized crime. Under it they can be charged in federal court for ordering others to commit violent crimes.
explains "those prosecutions also resulted in long sentences and the folks
that got sentenced within the gang organizations went to prisons outside of the
City leaders say using this statute will lower gun crimes plaguing the community. Morrissey says "what we want to see is those federal prosecutions on the gun cases, but just as importantly, probably more importantly, the gang cases on that RICO statute."
All while lowering the burden on local law enforcement. Rockford Police Chief Chet Epperson says "we're spending thousands and thousands and millions of dollars on our own local criminal justice system that we have. So we have to change our way of doing business."
The city plans on partnering with federal prosecutors and agencies this year.