FBI proud of successful first year of STIG task force, dozens of arrests made

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — The FBI unveiled a relatively new initiative called STIG, which stands for “Short Term Impact Group.” This group started focused investigations on June 1, 2018.

One year later, STIG reports 41 arrests, the seizure of 53 guns, the execution of 28 search warrants and the confiscation of 86 pounds of meth, 23 pounds of heroin, 63 pounds of marijuana and 306 grams of cocaine.

This group is small, made up of only five people: four “safe streets” task force officers and one agent.

“If you are predisposed to violence, if you are going to use violence to carry out, to further your criminal activity —we’re going to target you. You’re going to the top of the list,” Edward N. Wheele, Supervisor & Special Agent with Safe Streets Gang Task Force, said. “If you’re using violence, we’re coming after you.”

The way this task force works is they are alerted by someone, a neighbor to federal authorities, about a person making them concerned. The FBI starts monitoring this person to see if they can build a case against them.

STIG will monitor them for 30 days. If they cannot build a case against them in that time, they will move on to another person. But if new information comes in, they can always make a new case.

“These individuals are largely prohibited from carrying a weapon, but the fact that they are carrying a weapon often time means they are predisposed to violence,” Wheele explained.

The Marion County Prosecutor’s Office works with STIG.

“Our primary role in this is we identify individuals through our strategic prosecution unit,” Prosecutor Terry Curry said. “Essentially what we’re trying to do is identify those individuals and if it’s possible to put an alternative sort of case on them.”

Those leading STIG said the success of their task force depends on other people offering their eyes, ears and information.

“Maybe this person isn’t even on the radar of law enforcement, but they’re terrified of this person—they have a drug problem, they carry a gun everywhere, they’ve seen them commit violent acts, call us with this information,” Wheele said. “We’ll take action.”

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