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VIPER task force taking bite out of crime

The official Department of Justice seal of the U.S. Attorney's office.

U.S. Attorney James Kennedy on Monday provided an update on progress in the ongoing Federal Violence Prevention and Elimination Response, or VIPER, Task Force.

It's a 60-day effort to remove violent gun offenders from the streets to enhance public safety and reduce violent crime in the Buffalo and Rochester regions.

From July 7-30, Kennedy said there have been:

  • 125 firearm-related arrests, 56 of them in the Buffalo/Niagara Falls area
  • 217 narcotics-related arrests, including 176 of them locally
  • 142 violent felony arrests, including 56 of them locally
  • 68 firearms were seized, including 17 by the Buffalo office
  • 18 defendants are awaiting federal prosecution
  • 52 other arrests are under review for possible federal prosecution

Several federal, state and local law enforcement agencies are working with the Justice Department's VIPER task force.