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story.lead_photo.caption Texas Capitol in Austin, Texas.

BEAUMONT, Texas — The U.S. Attorneys representing the four districts in Texas have announced their intent to prosecute any crimes committed at the state capitol or otherwise in violation of federal law ahead of upcoming presidential inauguration.

"The First Amendment is a cherished right and bedrock principle of our great nation," said United States Attorney Stephen J. Cox. "Those who intend to commit crimes at the Texas State Capitol, rather than peacefully demonstrate, can expect to be met with a swift response by law enforcement and prosecution by our office."

U.S. Attorney Cox joins his counterparts — U.S. Attorneys Gregg N. Sofer and Ryan K. Patrick and Acting U.S. Attorney Prerak Shah of the Western, Southern and Northern Districts of Texas, respectively — to warn those planning to cross state lines to commit crimes in Texas or at the state capitol.

As the chief law enforcement officers in each of the federal districts, the U.S. Attorneys will be working with federal, state and local law enforcement throughout the state to aggressively identify crimes that violate federal law. The plan is to ensure that anyone who is arrested for committing looting, violence or any other crime related to protests or similar events on or about inauguration day will be processed and held in federal custody pending further criminal proceedings.

The U.S. Attorney's Office (USAO) in the District of Columbia (DC) is prosecuting those that have been or will be identified as allegedly committing crimes during the riots last week. The Texas U.S. Attorneys will also be working with Department of Justice (DOJ) officials and necessary law enforcement in those prosecutions. Any questions regarding those matters should be directed to DOJ Office of Public Affairs or to the USAO in D.C.

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