LOUDOUN – John Adams, the Republican nominee for attorney general, joined Republican gubernatorial nominee Ed Gillespie today for his “Job One: Keeping Virginia Safe” policy rollout. During the morning event, Gillespie and Adams announced that Adams would serve as the Commonwealth’s anti-gang chief.
During the press conference, Adams said, “We have rising gang activity and violent crime in Virginia. That’s a fact. And this criminal activity impacts some of the most vulnerable among us – young people. Gang activity spawns other activity: human trafficking, drug trafficking, and violent activity. We have to fight this head on.”
Adams continued, “I was a federal prosecutor and prosecuted Project Exile cases. That was an unbelievable success and I’m glad to see Ed proposing to bring it back. In 1997, when that program started, there were 140 murders in the city of Richmond. Through diligent enforcement of our federal gun laws, in cooperation with federal, state, and local agencies, the crime rate dropped dramatically in 10 years. This is a good program and I look forward to working with Ed on it."
Gillespie also announced that he would reinstate Project Exile. As a federal prosecutor, Adams worked directly on Project Exile cases. Project Exile was pioneered in Virginia in 1997 to elevate the prosecution of illegal technical gun possession offenses to federal court rather than Virginia courts. In federal court, technical gun possession offenses carry a mandatory minimum sentence of five years. Recently, Richmond City Commonwealth Attorney Mike Herring suggested it may be time for Project Exile to return to Virginia. If properly executed, Project Exile will help to reduce gang violence and activity throughout Virginia.
Read Gillespie’s full “Job One: Keeping Virginia Safe” plan here.
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