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ATF Withdraws Additional Agents Brought To Flint

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FLINT (WWJ/AP) - Federal authorities say they’re withdrawing a dozen agents brought to Flint from around the country earlier this year to help deal with the city’s crime rate.

The “surge” of Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ agents was similar to previous efforts in other high-crime areas of the U.S.

“The surge is part of what the ATF is calling a front-line strategy,” David McCain, an agent with the ATF’s Detroit Field Division, told The Flint Journal. He said the program “identified the violent trigger pullers.”

Since the agents arrived in July, officials say they have made 130 arrests and seized 125 firearms. Of the 130 arrests, 24 of the suspects are facing federal gun and drug charges. McCain added that the partnership also seized more than 10,000 grams of drugs and $134,653.

Despite the fact that Flint is on pace to break its yearly record for homicides, officials say the increase in agents was planned to only last through the summer.

Going forward, remaining federal agents are expected to work with local and state authorities to maintain a focus on curbing violent crime in the city.

“We realize this doesn’t end,” said ATF spokesman Donald Dawkins. “We will be here.”

Dawkins said the organization will continue to monitor the situation in Flint to determine if additional agents need to be brought in again.

TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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