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Harsh federal sentences await gang and drug kingpins

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Under Chattanooga's tough new stance on crime, a felon caught carrying a gun could receive 10 years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine instead of the possible jail term and $500 fine more commonly associated with the offense today.

Mayor Andy Berke's proposed $212 million budget includes $60,000 salary for a federal prosecutor position. If the position is approved, a full-time prosecutor will be hired to focus solely on gang and gun violence.

And U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District Bill Killian said he plans to give that prosecutor a tool that will drastically change how cases here are pursued. In an interview Friday, Killian revealed that he will lower federal intake guidelines, meaning that, to an extent, it will be more a matter of who you are than what crimes you commit.

"What's this person's record? Is he head of a gang?"

Read more from our news partner the Times Free Press.

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