CHARLOTTE, N.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) - 21 local, state, and federal law enforcement officers were recognized on Monday for getting results within the community. They were honored for their hard investigative work in cases prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney's Office.
FBI special agent Ernesto Negron was among the law enforcement officers awarded and recognized for their efforts.
“It took a lot of people to get this done,” Negron said.
He was deeply involved in a 2013 investigation into the violent street gang MS-13.
“It took a lot of people a lot of hours involved a lot of late nights and weekends.”
Gang members were committing acts of drug trafficking, murder, robbery, and extortion.
“They were committing murders homicides robberies all kinds of stuff. So they were trying to establish a strong hold in NC, so we’ve got to get in front of it.”
In May of 2015, the investigation resulted in the indictment of 37 gang members and associates. Of the 37 charged, 15 were in the U.S. illegally. 30 of the 37 pled guilty. Three remain fugitives, and four proceeded to trial.
“It feels great because when the case is over, we feel we did our job, but it’s nice to come a couple years later and get an award it was an honor.”
It’s the teamwork from the men and women being honored that helps keep our community safe.
“Every day these officers put in overtime. They’re working in tough and dangerous conditions and they're unsung no one knows what they do every day,” U.S. Attorney Andrew Murray said.
The U.S. Attorney says these ceremonies also serve to strengthen the relationship between his office and law enforcement members fighting crime in the streets.
“It's important for us to recognize and tell them to their families and their families are always praying for their safety. So it's nice to bring the families in and say we thank you as citizens of this community for what you do,” said Murray.