US Attorney to dedicate prosecutor for central Nebraska drug crimes

    US Attorney Joe Kelly is introduced by Hall County Attorney Marty Klein, to talk about how local and federal prosecutors work together (NTV News)

    Nebraska's top federal prosecutor is taking steps to fight drugs in central Nebraska.

    U.S. Attorney Joe Kelly met with the Hall County Board this week.

    For many years, Hall County paid for an attorney to work with federal prosecutors. The arrangement allowed local drug cases to be prosecuted in federal court.

    New Hall County Attorney Marty Klein previously served in that capacity.

    The county has funding concerns, with a tight budget.

    Now, the U.S. Attorney's office is proposing to use federal money to pay for a prosecutor who will specifically focus on drug trafficking in central Nebraska.

    Kelly said, "The end result is the same and it's a positive for the county and it's a positive for the U.S. Attorney's office because we'll continue to prosecute those drug cases with a real intensity in Hall County and central Nebraska that we could not without this attorney slot."

    Marty Klein said it gives the county another tool. Depending on the scope of a case, they can bump it up to federal court where there are greater consequences.

    The county will vote on the agreement in two weeks.

    Kelley said the prosecutor will be based in Lincoln but will spend time in central Nebraska meeting with local drug investigators.

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