U.S. Marshals Arrested 13,000 Violent Repeat Offenders In Nationwide Sweep Operation

Janice Malcolm

Authorities announced on Wednesday that U.S. Marshals and local police participated in a six-week joint operation that saw the arrest of more than 13,000 fugitives with open warrants as part of a national operation targeting the "worst of the worst" violent repeat offenders across the most crime-ravaged cities in the nation.

Referred to as Operation Violence Reduction 12, the aim was to target individuals wanted for serious and violent crimes such as murder, sexual assault, kidnapping, and aggravated assault. The sweep focused on 12 cities, including Baltimore, Chicago, Milwaukee, New Orleans, and Washington, D.C., that have displayed recent spikes in violent criminal activities. The Justice Department announced the results and showed that between Feb. 1 and March 11, the marshals, working with local authorities, targeted and brought in 8,045 fugitives who had open warrants for violent crimes and arrested another 5,446 fugitives throughout the course of the operation.

Many reports claimed that there were over 8,000 arrests made, but as the Washington Times reveals, that figure did not take into account the fugitives arrested that were not part of the original list of repeat offenders the U.S. Marshals were after. They reportedly cleared 9,613 warrants, arrested 559 persons for homicide, 946 for sexual offenses, and seized 71.52 kilograms of drugs. There were also 648 known gang members arrested.

"This took a whole lot of planning, and this was not an easy task. This was not a dragnet- type operation designed to arrest anyone with an outstanding warrant. It was focused and targeted. That's because we know that the majority of violence in our communities can usually be traced to a relatively small number of bad actors."

Yates was joined at the press conference by Baltimore Police Commissioner Kevin Davis who praised Operation Violence Reduction and its results as well as stating that it could be an essential part of restoring confidence in the police. Baltimore has been battling a severe spike in deadly violence in recent years and recorded its deadliest year in 2015 when it ended with a tally of 344 killings. Davis states that this year has already seen more witnesses coming forward to provide tips on criminal activities and there have been "encouraging results in the homicide closure rate." One hundred and forty-eight fugitives were arrested in the city during the sweep, and that included 23 persons wanted for murder.

"We have violent repeat offenders who kill again and again. The impact of getting them off the street as quickly as possible is paramount in a city like Baltimore."