the takedown

U.S. Marshals Arrest 8,000 Fugitives in National Operation

From Feb. 1 to March 11, the U.S. Marshals Service arrested more than 8,000 gang members, sex offenders, and other violent criminals in what they named Operation Violence Reduction12.

For the second year in a row, the U.S. Marshals conducted a successful high-impact national fugitive apprehension initiative focused on bringing in the country’s most violent offenders, according to a statement by the Department of Justice.

 “Through Operation VR-12, over 8,000 violent fugitives who preyed on our communities were tracked down, arrested and put behind bars,” Deputy Attorney General Sally Q. Yates said.  “Thanks to the strategic and focused efforts of the U.S. Marshals Service and their law enforcement partners, our nation’s streets are now rid of over 500 accused murderers, 600 gang members and nearly 1,000 sex offenders.” 

Operation VR-12 focused on violent crime offenders, targeting fugitives with three or more prior felony arrests for crimes including: murder, attempted murder, robbery, aggravated assault, arson, abduction/kidnapping, weapon offenses, sexual assault, child molestation, and narcotics.

“By removing these violent offenders from the streets, the communities they preyed upon can immediately feel more secure,” U.S. Marshals Service Deputy Director David Harlow said. “Operation VR12 was about using our expertise and law enforcement partnerships to significantly impact our communities by focusing on the worst of the worst violent criminals.”

The operation was a nationwide effort, but U.S. Marshalls focused primarily on the following high-crime areas: Baltimore; Brooklyn, New York; Camden, New Jersey; Chicago; Compton, California; Fresno, California; Gary, Indiana; Milwaukee; New Orleans; Oakland, California; Savannah, Georgia; and Washington, D.C.

All in all, they arrested 648 gang members and others wanted on charges including 559 for homicide; and 946 for sexual offenses.  In addition, investigators seized 463 firearms, $390,360 in currency and more than 71 kilograms of illegal narcotics.  Also during the operation, investigators recovered 17 children who had been abducted and reported missing, according to the DOJ statement.

“Fugitives initiated gun battles, forced barricaded standoffs, assaulted officers and did everything they could to evade arrest – but our Deputy Marshals, together with their law enforcement partners, stood firm and succeeded in capturing the bad guys,” said Deputy Attorney General Yates. 


By Brionne Griffin, FEDagent

Posted in The Takedown


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