Special U.S. Attorney Appointed Specifically to Combat Violent Gangs and Drug Trafficking in Charlotte Region

From The Charlotte Observer By Joe Marusak, November 29, 2011

STATESVILLE – Erin Comerford, assistant district attorney for Iredell and Alexander counties, has been named special assistant U.S. attorney with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Statesville.

Comerford will prosecute gang, violent-crime and high-level drug trafficking cases in federal court, said Anne Tompkins, U.S. attorney for the Western District of North Carolina.

Comerford was sworn in to her new post on Nov. 17. She has been an assistant district attorney in Forsyth County for the past three years and joined the Iredell-Alexander District Attorney’s Office for her new role.

She has prosecuted cases at the state level involving domestic violence, impaired-driving to drug-trafficking offenses. Most recently, she was a member of the Superior Court Drug Division focusing on cases involving complex drug conspiracies, habitual-felon and firearm-by-felon charges, and has been the lead prosecutor in numerous felony drug prosecutions.

State and federal authorities share “concurrent jurisdiction” over many drug and violent crimes. Concurrent jurisdiction allows for prosecution in either state or federal court.

To make sure the best choice of venue for prosecution is made, the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Iredell-Alexander District Attorney’s Office established a formal partnership in which Comerford will focus on violent crime, crime associated with gangs, and high-level drug trafficking crimes. She will collaborate with state, local and federal agencies to determine which cases should be indicted and prosecuted federally, Tompkins said.

“Having a dually sworn state-federal prosecutor will allow the District Attorney’s Office and the U.S. Attorney’s Office to more effectively and aggressively prosecute violent criminals and drug traffickers,” Tompkins and Iredell-Alexander District Attorney Sarah Kirkman said in a joint statement. “The goal of this partnership is to make Iredell and Alexander counties safer through a coordinated enforcement effort.”

Published in: on November 29, 2011 at 12:42 pm  Leave a Comment  

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