A federal gun violence initiative will allow a Lawrence County assistant district attorney to prosecute certain cases in federal court.
U.S. Attorney David J. Hickton visited Lawrence County yesterday to announce the new program that names William Flannery as a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney in the program that will involve county cooperation across state lines in gun and drug prosecutions.
The salaries of Flannery and assistant district attorneys from three other counties — Erie, Washington and Cambria — will be subsidized by $44,000 in Project Safe Neighborhood grants awarded to the Western District of Pennsylvania.
Flannery said yesterday he is excited about the program, because he will be able to prosecute drug and gun offenders whose cases cross state lines, using stiffer sentencing guidelines under federal laws instead of prosecuting them for lighter sentences through the county court system. The program also allows Lawrence County to collaborate with resources through the U.S. Attorney’s office, he said.
“It’s a benefit for Lawrence County to be one of the counties involved,” he said.