LOUISVILLE, Ky. (KT) -- A new task force has been formed by federal, state and local law enforcement agencies to combat the increase in carjackings in Louisville, it was announced Thursday by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Kentucky.
The FBI, along with the Louisville Metropolitan Police Department, the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco & Firearms, Homeland Security Investigations, Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office and the Kentucky State Police, have set up a new task force in an effort to take more cases into the federal justice system, where penalties range up to more than a decade in a federal penitentiary and parole does not exist.
This new effort will be in close consultation with the Jefferson Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office.
Carjacking is a federal crime punishable by imprisonment of up to 15 years and a fine of $250,000. However, if a victim of a carjacking suffers serious bodily injury, the maximum term of imprisonment is up to 25 years. And, if the carjacking victim is killed as a result of the carjacking, a defendant may be imprisoned up to life, or sentenced to death.
Additionally, if the defendant uses a firearm, a consecutive mandatory minimum sentence of seven years is added. If a firearm is discharged, a consecutive mandatory minimum sentence of ten years is added to the sentence.
“Put Louisville families at risk through carjacking, then be prepared to go to federal prison,” said U.S. Attorney Russell Coleman. “We will respond to this increasing threat to neighborhoods across our city and pledge closer collaboration with our state & local partners to reverse the disturbing trend.”
The FBI Louisville field office and law enforcement partners are offering incentives in the form of federal overtime, vehicles and training for Jefferson County law enforcement agencies who are participating in the task force.
"Helping to foster safe communities continues to be a primary focus of FBI Louisville,” said FBI Louisville Division Special Agent in Charge Robert Brown. “As preventing violent crime is a bedrock of the FBI, we look forward to working with and leading a new violent crime task force comprised of FBI, ATF, LMPD, KSP, HSI and JCSO."
LMPD Interim Chief Rob Schroeder says he welcomes the formation. “We have seen a disturbing number of carjackings over the past few weeks,” he said. “We are grateful for this collaboration with our federal partners, who always step up for this city when we see spikes in crime or alarming trends in violence.”