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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE FOR INFORMATION CONTACT:
July 09, 2009 District of Arizona
Deputy U.S. Marshal Matt Hershey (602) 920-4841;
USMS Headquarters Public Affairs (202) 307-9065
 
Operation FALCON 2009 Captures More than 600 Fugitives in Arizona
 

Phoenix, AZ – David P. Gonzales, the United States Marshal for the District of Arizona announces the successful conclusion of Operation FALCON (Federal and Local Cops Organized Nationally). Operation FALCON, now in its fifth year, is a cooperative effort among federal, state, and local law enforcement to rid the streets of dangerous career criminals. Nationally, in this years operation, Deputy U.S. Marshals and their law enforcement partners arrested 35,190 fugitives, 433 of which were wanted for murder.

Fugitives whose cases were adopted by Operation FALCON were sought by Deputy U.S. Marshals, Federal Agents, U.S. Attorney’s, and local law enforcement officers at every level of government. Additionally, Operation FALCON task force members handled cases referred by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, as well as from our international partners when a foreign fugitive is believed to be in this country.

“These arrests will help prevent more crimes from being committed by putting predators behind bars so they can no longer terrorize our communities,” said Marshal Gonzales. He added, “We also need the victims of crime to know that something is being done to apprehend those who have preyed upon them.”

Throughout the District of Arizona 643 fugitives were arrested, clearing 656 warrants. Deputy U.S. Marshals, as well as their federal, state and local partners arrested 45 sex offenders, 23 documented gang members, cleared nine homicide warrants and seized six firearms.

Based out of Phoenix and Tucson, the operation targeted individuals wanted for sex offenses, narcotics, violent crimes and fugitive gang members. FALCON 2009-Arizona was conducted throughout the month of June with a special emphasis on the last two weeks. Components of FALCON 2009 also traveled throughout the state to assist many of the outlying county law enforcement agencies in efforts to facilitate the capture of fugitives from justice. Law enforcement officers participating in FALCON 2009 were deputized as Special Deputy U.S. Marshals allowing them to assist in the operation without the concerns or constraints stemming from jurisdictional restrictions.

There were many notable arrests to include the apprehension of:

  • Francisca Canez, 28, was wanted by the Phoenix Police Department for three counts of Child Molestation, four counts of Sexual Conduct with a Minor, and six counts of Sexual Abuse. It is alleged that Canez molested a minor over a two year period.
  • Edward Bolding, 73, was arrested by FALCON Task Force Officers and Deputy U.S. Marshals in Seadrift, TX. Bolding, a former criminal defense attorney, was wanted for failing to appear on the last day of his December 2008 trial in Pima County Superior Court where he was charged with defrauding clients in excess of $1.2 million dollars. Bolding was convicted in absentia, and will now be sentenced in Pima County Superior Court.
  • George Reed III, 39, was arrested by Deputy U.S. Marshals in Scottsdale for violating the conditions of supervised release. Reed, originally convicted of second degree murder, has a history of assaulting Police Officers and has numerous arrests since being released from prison.
  • Llewellyn Dickson, 14, was arrested by Deputy U.S. Marshals and Task Force Officers in a Phoenix apartment. Dickson was wanted by the Los Angeles County Sheriffs Department for Attempted Murder after he was allegedly involved in a shooting. Dickson has been charged as an adult.
  • Marleah Holbert, 45, was arrested by FALCON Task Force Officers near Vail, AZ. It is alleged that in 2005 Holbert was involved in the robbery of the Compass Bank located at Campbell and Glenn in Tucson. According to reports, Holbert implied she had a gun during the robbery and fled on a bicycle wearing hospital scrubs.
  • Tracy Swisher, 35, was arrested by the Sonoran State Police in Puerto Penasco, Sonora, Mexico. Swisher failed to appear at sentencing in Ketchikan, Alaska after having been convicted of Sexual Abuse of a Minor. An international investigation was conducted by the U.S. Marshals Mexico Investigative Liaison, located in Tucson, after having developed information that Swisher had fled to Mexico. Swisher was subsequently expelled from Mexico by Mexican Immigration authorities into U.S. custody at the Lukeville Port of Entry and is currently held at the Pima County Jail awaiting extradition to Alaska.
  • Lance Osborn, 33, was arrested at a residence in Phoenix. Osborn was wanted by the Tempe PD and Lowell PD in Lowell, Arkansas after it was alleged that Osborn had installed video cameras in his place of employment, including the female bathroom, which Osborn was able to view on his computer.
  • Juan Miranda-Robles, 46, was arrested in Mesa by Task Force Officers. Miranda-Robles was wanted by the Harris County Sheriffs Office in Texas for forgery and was suspected to be involved in a recent sexual assault before fleeing Houston, TX.

“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.”

Since its inception in 2005, Operation FALCON has made 91,086 arrests and cleared 117,874 warrants. It continues to be the largest and most successful fugitive apprehension effort in U.S. Marshals history.

Arizona Department of Public Safety Director Roger Vanderpool said, “It's important to note the U.S. Marshals Arizona Wanted Task Force which includes DPS VCAT detectives, goes out every day to serve fugitive warrants. During the month of June, 42 law enforcement agencies, all partners of the Violent Criminal Apprehension Team or VCAT fanned out across the state and arrested violent fugitives as part of Operation Falcon. That's another reason why the recent merger of VCAT into the U.S. Marshals Service makes a lot of sense for law enforcement".

U.S. Congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick added, “I congratulate the U.S. Marshal David Gonzales, U.S. Attorney Diane Humetewa, the Arizona Department of Public Safety, and all of the federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies involved with Operation FALCON for their great success in bringing to justice over 600 fugitives throughout Arizona. At a time when Mexican drug cartels are trafficking drugs, guns and cash across our border and spreading violence throughout the border region-this effort, at this critical time, has removed criminals from the streets in every corner of our state, making all of our communities much safer for our families.”

For more information on Operation FALCON 2009, please visit www.usmarshals.gov/falcon09/index.html.

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