Yakima Police say a new relationship with federal agencies is helping curb area drug and gang crime.

Capt. Rod Light says that in February of this year the department created a partnership with the FBI, DEA and ATF to help prosecute local criminals under federal laws.

We’ve had a number of cases recently that some of the higher profile criminals have been caught with guns. We charge them in federal court and see them put away for many years.

Light says Yakima is simply looking for ways to keep more repeat criminals and more gang members behind bars longer than they can using state laws. He says the developing relationship will pay off even more in the near future.

However, Light says, you might not hear a lot about the arrests and convictions in federal court, because much of the process is closed to the public and the media.