Five-month Enforcement Operation Yields 1,309 Arrests
Washington – The U.S. Marshals Service arrested 1,309 fugitives, gang members and violent offenders as part of Operation Triple Beam (OTB), a Marshals-led, proactive gang enforcement program that coordinated partnerships between federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, as well as the federal, state and local prosecutor offices.
OTB focused on three main areas: fugitive investigations; targeted firearms and drug investigations (the tools of the trade for gang members); and proactive street investigations and patrols. The objective of making communities safer by strategically pursuing the gang members and criminals most responsible for crime and violence in those communities, and in the transportation corridors in which they seek refuge, underpinned the goals of OTB. In fiscal year 2014, USMS conducted OTB initiatives in six locations: Charlotte, N.C.; Phoenix; Mobile, Ala.; Salisbury, Md.; Gary, Ind.; and Chicago.
From May 1 to Sept. 30, OTB resulted in 1,309 arrests, including 644 gang members, and the seizure of 270 firearms, illegal narcotics valued at more than $690,000, and approximately $134,000 in U.S. currency. Individual charges included 38 for homicide, 172 for assault or aggravated assault, 64 for sex offenses, 83 for robbery, 495 for drug offenses, 126 for weapons offenses and 331 for other charges such as kidnapping and escape from confinement.
“Operation Triple Beam is a perfect example of how collaboration across law enforcement further protects our communities against violence,” said U.S. Marshals Director Stacia Hylton. “Led by our local U.S. Marshals' task forces, a network of federal, state and local law enforcement officers targeted areas and cleared America’s streets of violent felony fugitives, gang members, drug dealers and other fugitives. These joint efforts have a quick and direct impact on the safety of our neighborhoods.”
“By taking large numbers of violent fugitives off the street, we put an immediate end to their unlawful activities. This is significant since many of these criminals have a long history of violence in their communities. Our actions have spared families, friends and entire communities the anguish of becoming victims at the hands of these repeat offenders,” Hylton added.
A significant case in August resulted in the seizure of 319 bags of heroin and 17 firearms and the arrest of two gang members in North East, Md., by members of the Capital Area Regional Fugitive Task Force and the Maryland State Police.
In July, members of the Gulf Coast Regional Task Force arrested seven individuals in Mobile and seized nine firearms, 113 grams of synthetic narcotics, two gallons of Codeine syrup, five digital scales, ammunition, U.S. currency and counterfeit U.S. currency.
The concept behind broad, interagency law enforcement operations such as OTB evolved from the task force model used by the Marshals Service since the early 1980s to find and apprehend violent fugitives in targeted areas.