STEUBENVILLE - Jefferson County Prosecutor Jane Hanlin was sworn in as a special assistant United States Attorney for Southern Ohio Monday during ceremonies that also included the deputizing of five local law enforcement officers as members of the Mountain State Fugitive Task Force.
"Jane Hanlin will continue to do everything she currently does as the Jefferson County prosecutor and more because she is now a federal prosecutor. This is an unprecedented event that shows the cooperation we are bringing to the Ohio Valley," said Carter Stewart, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio.
"Jefferson County is a wonderful place to live and raise families, but we have to address criminal issues in our area," said Hanlin.
LAW ENFORCEMENT PRESENCE — Federal and local law enforcement officials gathered Monday afternoon in Steubenville for a ceremony that saw Jefferson County Prosecutor Jane Hanlin sworn in as a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio and five local law enforcement officers from Jefferson and Belmont counties deputized as members of the Mountain State Fugitive Task Force. Taking part in the ceremony were, from left, Acting U.S. Marshal Pat Sedoti of the Southern District of Ohio. Bellaire Police Chief Mike Kovalyk, Steubenville Police Chief Bill McCafferty, Martins Ferry Police Chief John McFarland, Jefferson County Sheriff Fred Abdalla, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio Carter Stewart, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of West Virginia William Ihlenfeld and U.S. Marshal of the Northern District of West Virginia Gary M. Gaskins. - Dave Gossett
"Today feels fantastic. This appointment will allow me to determine if state charges should be filed in a case or of federal charges should be filed. I believe this appointment is the first case of a county prosecutor being appointed a special assistant U.S. attorney in Jefferson County," noted Hanlin.
"This is an honor for me and we are ready to start working. This will allow me to pursue gang, gun and violence cases on the federal level," she added.
The event in front of the Historic Fort Steuben flagpole included the swearing in of five local law enforcement officers as deputy marshals in the Mountain State Fugitive Task Force.
Steubenville police officers Jason Hanlin and Tom Ellis, Jefferson County Sheriff's deputy Chris Vinci and Ted Starkey and Rick Flanigan Jr. of Belmont County now have the authority to cross state lines from Ohio to West Virginia to Pennsylvania to pursue fugitives.
"Carl Cason Jr. was indicted in Jefferson County and arrested in Weirton on 19 counts of felonious assault. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 15 years. Stedman Creech of Steubenville was arrested in Ohio County on five counts of felonious assault. The criminals don't stay in one area, and the Mountain State Fugitive Task Force is able to pursue these individuals across state lines," explained U.S. Marshal Gary M. Gaskins of the Northern District of West Virginia.
"Our deputy marshals arrested 53 violent criminals last year and these five new deputy marshals will assist us in our fight against crime," said Gaskins.
William Ihlenfeld, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of West Virginia, commended Stewart for attending the ceremony.
"Carter Stewart is in touch with the issues of Jefferson County and the Ohio Valley. I am very excited my colleague has joined us here today. This is my valley and I will dedicate whatever resources I can to help fight crime. There are problems that have spilled over into West Virginia from Ohio and problems from West Virginia have spilled over into Ohio," declared Ihlenfeld.
"Every time we can cooperate to combat crime we make progress," stated Stewart.