- The U.S. Marshals Service is the federal government’s primary agency
for fugitive investigations.
- The agency holds all federal arrest warrants until execution or
- In fiscal year 2011, the Marshals apprehended more than 36,200
federal fugitives, clearing approximately 39,400 felony warrants.
- U.S. Marshals task forces combine the efforts of federal, state and
local law enforcement agencies to locate and arrest the most dangerous
fugitives. They also serve as the central point for agencies to share
information on fugitive matters.
- The U.S. Marshals currently lead 75 district fugitive task
forces and seven Congressionally-funded regional fugitive task
forces dedicated to investigating violent crime and locating and
apprehending wanted criminals.
- Marshals-led district task forces arrested 86,400 state and
local fugitives in FY 2011, clearing approximately 113,300 state and
local felony warrants.
- The seven regional fugitive task forces are located in New
York/New Jersey, the National Capital area, the Southeast,
Florida/Caribbean, the Gulf Coast, the Great Lakes and the Pacific
- The agency also leads ad-hoc task forces in special cases — such
as when an inmate escapes from prison.
- The U.S. Marshals Service works with the international law
enforcement community to apprehend fugitives abroad as well as to seek
foreign fugitives living or residing in the United States. In FY 2011,
the Marshals coordinated 894 extraditions and deportations.
- The Marshals provide assistance, expertise and training on fugitive
matters to federal, state, local and international agencies.
- The agency has four foreign field offices in Jamaica, Mexico, the
Dominican Republic and Colombia. The U.S. Marshals work closely with law
enforcement agencies along the borders of Mexico and Canada and with the
Department of State’s Diplomatic Security Service. The agency also holds
key positions at Interpol.
- The Marshals use both traditional methods and sophisticated
technologies for fugitive investigations, including tactical equipment,
electronic surveillance and aerial surveillance. Tactical equipment
includes covert audio and video alarms and sensors; digital, narrowband,
encrypted wireless communications; and radio and satellite
communications equipment, such as tactical repeaters, base stations and
portable tower trailers.
“15 Most Wanted” Fugitive Program
- The U.S. Marshals “15 Most Wanted” fugitive program draws attention
to some of the country’s most dangerous and high-profile fugitives.
These felons tend to be career criminals with histories of violence, and
they pose a significant threat to public safety.
- “15 Most Wanted” fugitives can include murderers, sex offenders,
major drug kingpins, organized crime figures and individuals wanted for
high-profile financial crimes. They are generally considered the “worst
of the worst.”
- “15 Most Wanted” fugitives can be Marshals cases, task force cases
from other federal agencies, state/ local cases adopted by task forces
or cases from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
Sex Offender Operations
- Under the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006, the
U.S. Marshals Service:
- Assists state, local, tribal and territorial authorities in the
location and apprehension of noncompliant sex offenders
- Investigates violations of the criminal provisions of the Adam
- Identifies and locates sex offenders displaced as a result of a
- In FY 2011, the Marshals:
- Apprehended 12,144 sex offenders
- Initiated 2,720 investigations, issued 730 warrants for
registration violations and arrested 586 fugitives for other
violations of the Adam Walsh Act
- The Marshals National Sex Offender Targeting Center is an
interagency intelligence and operations center that supports the
identification, investigation, location, apprehension and prosecution of
noncompliant, unregistered fugitive sex offenders.
- The center collaborates with the National Center for Missing and
Exploited Children and the Department of Justice’s Sex Offender
Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering and Tracking
(SMART) Office to support all levels of law enforcement in pursuing
unregistered and noncompliant sex offenders.
- Analysts conduct behavioral assessments and provide
psychological insights into the minds of suspects and offenders to
assist Marshals investigators in identifying and apprehending
non-compliant sex offenders. The center also assists outside law
enforcement with cold case reviews, including solved or unsolved
homicides in which the murder appears to be sexually motivated.
- The U.S. Marshals Service targets violent fugitives with gang
affiliations in support of the Department of Justice’s priority of
fighting gang violence.
- The existing Marshals network of 82 task forces is used for gang
- The Marshals arrested more than 5,000 gang members in FY 2011.
- The USMS also is a key member of the Department of Justice’s Project
Safe Neighborhood’s Anti-Gang Training Program, National Gang
Targeting, Enforcement, and Coordination Center, and the National
Gang Intelligence Center.
- Financial surveillance is an investigative tool that identifies
funds and assets used by fugitives to conduct criminal activity and
- Financial surveillance investigators are able to find and track a
fugitive’s financial transactions as well as identify aliases and new
Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force
- The Marshals Service is one of seven federal agencies that are
members of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force, the main
element of the Attorney General’s drug-supply reduction strategy.
- The task force targets major drug-trafficking and money-laundering
organizations, works to eliminate the financial infrastructure of drug
organizations and conducts nationwide investigations against all the
related parts of the targeted organizations.
- When U.S. Marshals provide assistance pre-takedown, 95 percent of
targets are arrested, compared to 65 percent when the Marshals are not
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