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Feds Announce Tougher Gun Penalties in Fresno

It's a major show of unity against gangs and guns in the Central Valley.

The battle against gun violence ramps up in the Valley.

Federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies say they are prosecuting more gun crimes. And making streets safer in the process.

CBS47's Lemor Abrams has more on their tough strategy.

It's a major show of unity against gangs and guns. But this time, the goal is to sentence offenders under federal guidelines. The U.S. Attorney's Office says, under the fedreal system, defendants must serve at least 85% of their prison time, instead of half.

"One notable milestone came last week when the last of 35  defendants in series of federal cases pleaded guilty here in Fresno," said U.S. Attorney Ben Wagner.

The goal is to protect innocent victims like this Fresno girl...shot in the head while driving in the car with her father and 5-year old brother.

Her shooter misidentified the car for a rival gang member's. He's now locked up for life, while she lives with a bullet lodged in her head. Just one example why District Attorney Elizabeth Egan has confidence in collaboration between federal and local law enforcement.

"We have weekly meetings between us attorneys and we look at arrests that week...and we start marshalling our resources," said Egan.

In 2013, the U.S. Attorney's Office charged at least one hundred defendants with federal gun crime offenses. 40 are from the valley. Ten have pleaded guilty and have been sentenced. to prison .

Also last year, agents recovered 859 guns from around California...the majority from the L.A. Area. A lot are stolen in robberies or burglaries, including military weapons, and end up in the hands of gang members.
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