(Cleveland) - The United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Ohio filed 124 illegal firearms indictments in the first half of this year, U.S. Attorney Steven M. Dettelbach announced.

“Our office and law enforcement partners continue to work around the clock the enforcing our nation’s firearms laws,” Dettelbach said. “We are on pace to file more firearms indictments than ever before.

“While we will continue to lock up the worst of the worst, who are forbidden from having guns but get them anyway, we must also continue to work to find systemic solutions to curbing the epidemic of gun violence,” Dettelbach said.

Broken down by geography in the district, the most indictments filed came out of the Cleveland office, with 53. That was followed by the Youngstown office (43), Toledo office (16) and Akron office (12).

There were 73 defendants sentenced last year for firearms crimes and the average sentence was nearly six years in prison (71.6 months).

Project Safe Neighborhoods is a nationwide commitment to reduce gun and gang crime in America by networking existing local programs that target gun and gun crime and providing these programs with additional tools necessary to be successful. Since its inception in 2001, approximately $2 billion has been committed to this initiative. This funding is being used to hire new federal and state prosecutors, support investigators, provide training, distribute gun lock safety kits, deter juvenile gun crime, and develop and promote community outreach efforts as well as to support other gun and gang violence reduction strategies.

PSN prosecution statistics for calendar year 2002 through 2012 are as follows (these numbers reflect indictments for the full calendar year, while the 124 figure above is just through the first half of 2013):

2002: 117 indictments
2003: 155 indictments
2004: 184 indictments
2005: 220 indictments
2006: 187 indictments
2007: 191 indictments
2008: 157 indictments
2009: 156 indictments
2010: 166 indictments
2011: 218 indictments
2012: 176 indictments

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