Project Triggerlock is an enforcement program initiated in April 1991 by former Attorney General Richard Thornburgh. Under it, every United States Attorney was directed to form special teams of federal, state and local investigators to look for traditional gang and drug cases that could be prosecuted under federal weapons laws. Such prosecutions frequently lead to harsher penalties than they do in state and local courts. One reason for this is that in 1985 Congress established mandatory minimum sentences that judges are required to impose upon those convicted on various crimes. Under Operation Triggerlock, prosecutors were instructed to utilize the federal statues with long mandatory sentences.