Thursday, July 23, 2009
Operation FALCON rounds up fugitives in northern Mississippi
Following a five-year tradition of success in its national efforts, the U.S. Marshals Service locally conducted another successful Operation FALCON – Federal and Local Cops Organized Nationally. Led by the U.S. Marshals, Operation FALCON 2009 netted 35,190 arrests nationwide June 1 to June 30. In the Northern District of Mississippi, task force members and their federal, state and local counterparts arrested 166 individuals, including 25 sex offenders.
Operation FALCON – Northern Mississippi combined the collective efforts of multiple law enforcement agencies in one of the area’s largest-ever fugitive initiatives, focusing on capturing individuals wanted on felony charges including sexual predators and fugitives wanted for crimes of violence.
“The goal of Operation FALCON is simple – to make communities safer,” said John F. Clark, Director of the U.S. Marshals Service. “Each time we wrap up a FALCON operation in any location, there are less dangerous individuals – and fewer threats to the community – than before we arrived there. That is very gratifying.”
Along with the 166 local arrests over the course of the 30-day operation, Deputy U.S. Marshals, teamed with federal, state and local law enforcement partners, cleared 173 warrants in the northern Mississippi area.
“I am extremely proud of the hard work of these men and women who worked tirelessly to locate and arrest these fugitives in the North Mississippi area. This operation highlights the effectiveness of multi-agency task forces and is extremely important in letting those who commit crimes against our families and children know that they will get to see their day in court,” said Kelly L. York, Chief Deputy U.S. Marshal for the Northern District of Mississippi. “When we share information and pool our resources toward a common goal, the results are safer communities for our citizens and a more secure homeland.”
Fugitives whose cases were adopted by Operation FALCON were sought by the U.S. Marshals Service, ATF, DEA, HUD-OIG, DHS-ICE, other federal, state, and local agencies, U.S. Attorneys, and courts at every level of government.
In North Mississippi, U.S. Marshals worked closely the local sheriff’s departments to conduct compliance checks where law enforcement officers physically check the addresses provided by offenders on the State Sex Offender Registration. Offenders who were not residing where they had registered were charged with the violation and task force officers attempted to locate and arrest all of them during the month of June.
Additionally, Operation FALCON task force members handled cases referred by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, as well as those of foreign fugitives believed to be in this country. The Marshals Service also received support from the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force at the Department of Justice. Interpol and the Department of State’s Diplomatic Security Service assisted in the investigations of persons wanted by law enforcement worldwide.
The 10 foreign and international fugitives who were arrested during Operation FALCON now face deportation or extradition proceedings.
Since its inception in 2005, Operation FALCON has made more than 91,086 arrests and cleared more than 117,874 warrants. It continues to be the largest and most successful fugitive apprehension effort in U.S. Marshals Service history.
A complete list of the federal, state, and local agencies that participated in Operation FALCON is available at the Marshals Service web site at www.usmarshals.gov .
On a local level, the following agencies assigned personnel for FALCON 2009:
Mississippi Highway Patrol, Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics, Mississippi Department of Corrections, Mississippi Sex Offenders Office, Sheriff’s offices from Alcorn County, Boliver County, Coahoma County, Calhoun County, Chickasaw County, Choctaw County, DeSoto County, Grenada County, Lafayette County, Lee County, LeFlore County, Lowndes County, Marshall County, Monroe County, Oktibbeha County, Pontotoc County, Quitman County, Sunflower County, Tate County, Tippah County, Tishomingo County, Tunica County, Union County, Washington County, Winston County, Yalobusha County, and police departments from Clarksdale, Cleveland, Greenville, Greenwood, Hernando, Olive Branch, Oxford, Southaven, Tupelo and West Point.
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