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Virginia AG Seal

Commonwealth of Virginia
Office of the Attorney General

Mark Herring
Attorney General

900 East Main Street
Richmond, Virginia 23219


Contact: Emily Bolton
Office: (804)786-0147 
Cell: (804)839-9024 
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



~ Additional prosecutors and community outreach professionals are supporting local efforts to prevent crime and promote public safety ~


NORFOLK (March 16, 2015)--During the first stop of his second annual public safety tour this morning in Norfolk, Attorney General Mark R. Herring highlighted the extensive efforts he has undertaken in the last year to better support public safety and criminal justice efforts in Hampton Roads.


"One thing we learned during last year's public safety tour was that this office has not had a meaningful presence in Hampton Roads or really invested in this important region in the way we should," said Attorney General Herring. "Those days are over. We've added three prosecutors to assist with violent crime, gun crime, organized crime, and drug trafficking. We're contributing to the state, local, and federal efforts under the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area initiative, and we've launched a $1 million campaign to reduce gun and gang crime in Norfolk. We have also added two community outreach coordinators to help prevent crime and connect citizens and law enforcement agencies with the services and resources our office provides. This region is such a critical part of our state that it just makes sense for me and my office to be invested in its success."


Leading these efforts has been Linda Bryant, Deputy Attorney General for Public Safety and a former deputy commonwealth's attorney in Norfolk. The Office of Attorney General now has three prosecutors assisting local prosecutors and the U.S. Attorney with violent crime, gun crimes, organized crime, and narcotics and heroin distribution:


John Butler--A former Navy JAG officer working on federal cases out of the United States Attorney's Office in Norfolk.

John Haugh--A former deputy commonwealth's attorney in Hampton working on state cases out of the Norfolk Commonwealth's Attorneys' office.

James Entas--A former assistant commonwealth's attorney in Norfolk working out of the Norfolk Commonwealth's Attorney's office on state level weapons and heroin cases.


Attorney General Herring also launched a $1 million effort with local, state, and federal partners to reduce gun and gang violence in Norfolk. The program emphasizes strategic prosecutions and data-driven policing strategies, along with an extensive, community-based outreach, education, and prevention efforts led by Theresa Scales, who works out of the Berkley Multi-Purpose Center to educate young people and steer them away from crime and legal trouble.


Finally, Rae Pearson Benn is serving as the new Hampton Roads community outreach coordinator working out of the office of Chesapeake Sheriff Jim O'Sullivan. Attorney General Herring has placed community outreach coordinators in every region of the state to help connect citizens, civic groups, faith-based organizations, small businesses, and law enforcement with the services offered by his office, including crime prevention programs for seniors, teen education, consumer protection services, and resources for survivors of domestic violence.



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