Indictments first as part of feds’ effort in St. Louis

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ST. LOUIS (AP) _ Federal prosecutors in St. Louis have indicted five men for two separate killings _ the first indictments since the city’s police chief reached out to the U.S. Attorney’s office to help address the increase in violent crime.

U.S. Attorney Richard Callahan said Wednesday that the indictments are part of the effort to tackle the city’s growing homicide rate. The city has already had nearly 100 killings this year, far more than a year ago at this time.

Police Chief Sam Dotson said last month that he was taking more cases to the feds, citing the increase in violence and concerns about an amendment to the Missouri Constitution. St. Louis officials say Amendment 5, passed last year, makes it difficult to get charges to stick against convicted felons caught with guns.

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