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Idaho to receive two more assistant U.S. attorneys to help combat violent and opioid-related crimes

UPDATED: Thu., June 7, 2018, 1:42 p.m.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions, center, receives applause after President Donald Trump acknowledges him during his speech about his plan to combat opioid drug addiction at Manchester Community College, Monday, March 19, 2018, in Manchester, N.H. At right is first lady Melania Trump. (Elise Amendola / Associated Press)
Attorney General Jeff Sessions, center, receives applause after President Donald Trump acknowledges him during his speech about his plan to combat opioid drug addiction at Manchester Community College, Monday, March 19, 2018, in Manchester, N.H. At right is first lady Melania Trump. (Elise Amendola / Associated Press)

Two more federal prosecutors will soon begin taking cases in Idaho to help combat violent crime and the opioid epidemic in the state, in the wake of an announcement by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions that the Department of Justice would add more than 300 prosecutors to its offices nationwide.

Cassandra Fulghum, spokeswoman for the Department of Justice’s District of Idaho this week confirmed the appointments of two assistant United States attorneys to the district. One attorney will focus on violent crime in the Idaho, she said, while the other will assist police with combatting the state’s rising numbers of opioid-related crime.

The appointments will be two of the more than 311 U.S. attorneys hired nationwide by the federal government and announced by Sessions on Monday.

“This is a large push from the administration nationally,” Fulghum said Thursday. “The largest push in decades.”

Across the country, the new prosecutors will focus on three types of cases, according to a news release from the Department of Justice — violent crime, immigration crime, and “civil enforcement,” which Fulghum confirmed, in Idaho’s case at least, means combating the opioid crisis, especially prescription drug abuse. In Idaho, the Department of Justice did not add an attorney to prosecute immigration crimes.

The U.S. attorneys in Idaho will work with police task forces and state organizations to handle cases that might cross jurisdictional lines. The department saw one such case come to a successful conclusion earlier this week, according to a news release, with the sentencing of Nampa gang member Leeroy Salazar, 39, who was sentenced to 10 years in prison for selling methamphetamine in the treasure valley. The department’s lawyers worked with an array of law enforcement agencies to build the case and gather the evidence necessary to successfully prosecute Salazar.


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