Nineteen arrested on federal gun charges in Memphis

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A major bust resulted in the arrests of 19 people, seven of them known gang members, on federal gun charges, U.S. Attorney Mike Dunavant announced Friday.

Officials with the Project Safe Neighborhoods Task Force — which includes Memphis Police, Shelby County Sheriff’s Office and the U.S. Marshals — say the bust focused on finding people unlawfully possessing guns and prosecuting them at the highest level: in federal court.

“If those in the community want to continue to carry guns, harass members of this community, rest assured someone in uniform is going to do nothing except work on finding you,” Shelby County District Attorney Amy Weirich said.

Dunavant said the defendants include a 47-year-old man who fired shots in a parking lot of a bar and grill restaurant crowded with people, then struck a car as he drove off the parking lot, and a 39-year-old man who threatened to shoot his girlfriend in front of her children.

Charlie Caswell, a Raleigh pastor who grew up among gangs and now tries to keep families away from them, says the arrests are a warning to potential criminals and sends another message to those tired of senseless gun crime.

“Give them hope that something’s happening and no one is sleeping on the job,” he said.

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