U.S. Legal professional John Anderson to resign Jan. 2

“Even though it doesn’t have an operation name or designation, our federal law enforcement colleagues from the FBI along with prosecutors from this office, work on a daily basis to try and bring improved access to justice and public safety to Indian Country so that continues to be something I’m extraordinarily proud of,” he said.

Anderson said he was also excited about the partnerships he created with local law enforcement.

As KOB previously reported, Anderson’s office worked with the Bernalillo County District Attorney’s Office, Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office and Albuquerque Police Department to try and increase public safety.

According to the FBI, the city’s violent crime rate is almost three times the national rate. That’s why Anderson said it’s important for these agencies to continue to work together moving forward.

“One of the reasons that it’s so important for the federal law enforcement to have a role here in Albuquerque is really the perceived weakness of the state system and its ability to hold especially violent offenders accountable,” he said.

Anderson said repeat offenders face stricter penalties when prosecuted by the federal government.

He also was in charge of the New Mexico office when Trump announced the controversial law enforcement project Operation Legend.

Anderson told KOB federal agents were able to identify the killer of an Albuquerque woman, Jacque Vigil, with help from the Albuquerque Police Department.

“So to me that really exemplifies the idea that a big push like this, like Operation Legend, can bring some measure of justice and some measure of closure to a family like the Vigils.”

According to Anderson, methamphetamine from Mexico is driving the violent crime in the city. He told KOB he was able to be a dent in some of the problems and hopes the next U.S. Attorney will continue to push back against drug dealers and violent criminals.

“I can’t speculate what a new administration will look like,” he said.

“I think that those problems will continue, those problems are not specific to one administration and will continue to present a challenge,” Anderson added.

“We’re going to be able to see large amounts of mass-produced meth coming in from Mexico and I do believe that is a driver of violent crime so I don’t know what the approach is going to be but I do believe many of the same challenges are going to remain to be address by the next administration,” he said.

Anderson said he plans to join a law firm in Santa Fe once he resigns.

First Assistant U.S. Attorney Fred Federici III will serve as interim U.S. attorney for the District of New Mexico until President-elect Joe Biden picks a replacement.

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