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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

AG's Office Warns of Gang-and-Drug Armageddon If State Budget Passes

Posted By on Tue, Jun 28, 2011 at 3:40 PM

click to enlarge Kamala Harris
  • Kamala Harris

As lawmakers prepare to finalize the state budget today, another government agency has joined the chorus of groups declaring that spending cuts in the plan will be disastrous: the office of California Attorney General Kamala Harris.

Harris, who has been on the job in Sacramento for six months after departing her post as San Francisco District Attorney, issued a statement last night claiming that $71 million in proposed cuts to law enforcement "will cripple California's statewide anti-gang and drug trafficking operations." A vote on the budget is expected this afternoon.

Harris' agents have been on a spree of crackdowns on gang-related gun and drug activity, especially in California's Central Valley. Here's her full statement, which outlines the purported impact of the funding cuts on these investigations:

The proposed $71 million cut will cripple California's statewide anti-gang and drug trafficking operations. Our Division of Law Enforcement leads 50 task forces across the state that target criminal gangs and drug trafficking organizations. Earlier this month, one of these task forces took down 101 leaders and members of two transnational gangs terrorizing California's Central Valley. Last month, we announced the seizure of over 100 lbs of methamphetamine and the arrests of more than 30 gang members in the Bay Area. These cuts will eliminate many, if not all, of these task forces and jeopardize many ongoing investigations.

Proposed budget cuts have prompted dire predictions from other branches of government, including the judiciary. Stay tuned to see if lawmakers approve the latest plan, and Armageddon breaks out.

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Peter Jamison

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