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USVI seeks return of ATF agents to fight crime

CHARLOTTE AMALIE, U.S. Virgin Islands (AP) – The governor of the U.S. Virgin Islands is requesting that the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives return to the island after a four-year absence to help fight a rise in crime.

John P. de Jongh says he wants to give federal agents peace officer status in the U.S. territory so they can help enforce local laws.

A government statement issued Saturday said ATF agents also are needed to help local officers trace illegal firearms.

The ATF pulled its agents out of the U.S. territory in 2008 after local police charged one of its officers in a fatal shooting following his intervention in a domestic dispute. A judge later threw out the case on a technicality.

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