Smart Talk

Smart Talk is a daily, live, interactive program featuring conversations with newsmakers and experts in a variety of fields and exploring a wide range of issues and ideas, including the economy, politics, health care, education, culture, and the environment.  Smart Talk airs live every week day at 9 a.m. on WITF’s 89.5 and 93.3.

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Host: Scott LaMar

Smart Talk: U.S. Attorney Peter Smith talks federal crime

Written by Scott LaMar, Smart Talk Host/Executive Producer | Jul 23, 2015 9:20 AM
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What to look for on Smart Talk Thursday, July 23, 2015:

Connecticut Man Charged With Area Bank Robberies; Rhode Island Man Indicted for Trafficking Over A Kilo Of Heroin; Scranton Man Charged In Sex Trafficking Conspiracy.

What do these three recent headlines have in common?

All are stories about federal crimes allegedly committed in and are being prosecuted in the Middle District of Pennsylvania. 

Peter Smith, the United States Attorney for the Middle District, is one of 94 U.S. Attorneys across the country and in American territories.  It is his job to prosecute federal crimes and defend the U.S. in civil actions in Central Pennsylvania.

Smith appears on Thursday's Smart Talk to discuss the role of the U.S. Attorney.

He'll also talk about crime trends in the region.  Not surprisingly, drug trafficking is one of the most widespread and that includes heroin, which has seen a major resurgence in Pennsylvania over the last years.

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Peter Smith, United States Attorney

Published in News, Smart Talk

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  • Scott LaMar img 2015-07-23 15:13

    Manuel ask...
    Do you see a difference between the crimes and criminals you have to prosecute and deal with from urban vs. rural settings. For instance, between Philadelphia and Harrisburg vs. Gettysburg and Hummelstown?

    • Scott LaMar img 2015-07-23 16:45

      Peter Smith reply...
      Several differences came to mind right away. In rural or small town areas almost everybody know everyone else or their families, e.g., victims, defendants , law enforcement, etc.. This can be a mixed blessing for . The second difference is that the victims tend to be more personally involved in the case and want to be the courtroom to tell what happened and confront the defendant when the crimes involve smaller communities and/ or rural areas.
      I can’t easily make general comments about the differences in types of crimes. Gang violence and street crime are certainly more apparent in urban areas. Unfortunately, fraud, drug dealing , robbery and sex crimes do not appear to limited by geography nowadays. The numbers are of course larger in areas with larger populations but the impact on communities are very substantial in small ones.
      I hope this is helpful. The Department of Justice has a lot of detailed data and statistics; much of it is available via the Department’s website.

  • Scott LaMar img 2015-07-23 15:17

    Dawn states...
    In the '60s, there were advertisement on TV concerning drugs. Now, there aren't. [It may help educate.]

    • Scott LaMar img 2015-07-23 16:46

      Peter Smith reply...
      I agree. I believe I have seen a couple lately. We could use many more.