Meet the new Special Agent in Charge of ATF in Phoenix

Posted: Updated:
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has a new special agent in charge in the Phoenix Field Division.

John Durastanti is taking aim at people he calls "the trigger pullers."  He will oversee  ATF’s criminal and regulatory operations throughout Arizona and New Mexico.

"ATF targets behavior," he said. "It's the behavior that's unacceptable. The violence. So no matter what the group is, if they are committing violent acts, we're going to target them."

Durastanti started his law enforcement career in Ohio as a patrol officer with a local police department, began his Federal law enforcement career with the United States Marshals Service in 1996, and transitioned to ATF in 1998.

During an interview Friday afternoon, we asked Durastanti about a number of groups in the headlines and linked to violence.

"Those gangs, those groups that are contributing to the most violence in any community, that's one of our priorities. Our primary goals? Go in, infiltrate those gangs and take them off the streets," said Durastanti.

Durastanti says one of his main jobs is providing ATF's unique resources and expertise to local law enforcement, just as ATF did in the serial shooter case.

We also asked Durastanti about speculation that Arizona's own DPS director, Col. Frank Milstead, may be in the running to head up ATF in the Trump administration.

Durastanti said we would probably hear about that before he did.

Click/tap here to download the free azfamily mobile app.

Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.