By PBN Staff
By PBN Staff
PROVIDENCE – Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin has signed an agreement with the U.S. Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs committing Rhode Island prosecutors to help train and advise prosecutors in foreign countries.
Kilmartin and Ambassador William R. Brownfield, the assistant secretary of state for international narcotics and law enforcement affairs, signed the agreement Tuesday in New Orleans, where Kilmartin was attending a meeting of the National Association of Attorneys General.
Rhode Island is the third state to enter an agreement with the bureau to train international prosecutors under the Department of State’s foreign assistance program. The two other states are Delaware and New Mexico.
“First and foremost, this partnership is a testament to the excellence of the prosecutors in this office,” said Kilmartin in a release. “This is also an opportunity for us to develop relationships in foreign communities that may impact transnational crime. We live in a global, interactive world which has opened up new opportunities for criminal organizations and created new challenges in investigation and prosecution. To combat the growing threat of transnational criminal organizations, we too must reach across borders to share information and best practices.”
Upon the State Department’s request, and with Kilmartin’s approval, prosecutors from Rhode Island will be deployed to countries worldwide to advise foreign prosecutors on topics such as transnational crime, how to work with law enforcement to build a case, and professional responsibility.
Amy Kempe, a spokeswoman for Kilmartin, cited Central and South American countries – including Mexico, Colombia, the Dominican Republic and the eastern Caribbean, to name a few – as examples of where Rhode Island prosecutors may be sent, but the State Department’s foreign partners include countries in all parts of the world and on every continent.
The Department of State will cover all costs of deploying Rhode Island personnel overseas.
“We are pleased to welcome Attorney General Kilmartin and Rhode Island’s prosecutors as our newest partner,” said Ambassador Brownfield. “AG Kilmartin and his staff will be able to develop a network of international connections on drug-related issues, on gang-related issues, on money laundering and financial crime-related issues – connections that will have an impact on the streets of Providence and the other cities and communities of Rhode Island for years to come.”
Kilmartin began working toward this partnership with the State Department in August, when Rhode Island hosted the International Association of Prosecutors in Providence for a two-day conference addressing international law-enforcement and prosecution issues, including human trafficking, intellectual property theft, cybercrime, and weapons and drug trafficking.
Kilmartin serves as the National Association of Attorneys General representative to the International Association of Prosecutors.