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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE FOR INFORMATION CONTACT:
July 09, 2009 Southern District of Florida
Barry Golden, Public Affairs Officer (786) 433-6382;
USMS Headquarters Public Affairs (202) 307-9065
 
Operation FALCON 2009 Nets Over 600 Arrests in Southern Florida
 

Monroe County, FL – 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 over 600 arrests within the Southern District of Florida in the month of June. Nationally, Operation FALCON arrested 35,190 individuals and cleared 47,418 warrants. This included over 400 homicide suspects, 2,356 sex offenders and 900 gang members.

Operation FALCON – South Florida 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. Over the course of the 30-day operation, Deputy U.S. Marshals, teamed with federal, state and local law enforcement partners, arrested 609 fugitives, including 39 sex offenders and cleared 707 warrants in the South Florida area.

David Lasher was arrested by Task Force Officers from the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office and U.S. Marshals Service on June 10 for allegedly cultivating hydroponics marijuana, armed trafficking, and identity theft. Responding to an address on Ram Rod Key, law enforcement observed in plain view equipment and supplies commonly associated with hydroponics marijuana grow. Law enforcement also detected a strong odor of marijuana emanating from inside the residence. Investigators did not know who the tenant was, but a records’ check of a vessel docked to the rear of the residence indicated the owner was David Mann, who resides in Connecticut. Contact was established with David Mann, who denied vessel ownership nor that he ever resided in Florida. While on the scene, the resident arrived and identified himself as David Mann. During the interview, “Mann” admitted his real name was David Lasher and that he had stolen the Mann identity many years ago. A search warrant for the residence was obtained. Inside the residence, law enforcement found a fully functional hydroponics marijuana growing operation with 47 plants. Also seized were 31 pre-packaged baggies of marijuana (approximately 3.5 pounds), a loaded handgun, and $7,628 in U.S. currency. His vehicle, a Dodge Ram pick-up, and an 18-foot Donzi vessel were also seized as they had been fictitiously registered.

“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.”

Operation FALCON – South Florida consisted of federal, state and local law enforcement officers, making up separate arrest teams working throughout the operation. Each participating local officer was sworn in as a Special Deputy U.S. Marshal immediately prior to the start of this operation. This special authority empowers them to cross traditional lines of jurisdiction to track down and arrest targeted fugitives throughout the operation.

“Operation FALCON is an example of the extraordinary investigative capabilities that arise when multiple law enforcement agencies join forces and work together as a team. With our partners from state, local and other federal agencies, we apprehended some of the most violent criminals and sex offenders preying on the citizens of South Florida,” said U.S. Marshal Christina Pharo. “This operation may have ended, but our efforts to locate and apprehend these wanted criminals will not. We will continue to offer our assistance to our friends in law enforcement and make every effort to rid our streets of these criminals.”

Agencies contributing to Operation FALCON – South Florida were the U.S. Marshals Service, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development OIG, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs OIG, U.S. Department of State, Diplomatic Security Service, U.S. Coast Guard Investigative Service, Immigration & Custom Enforcement, Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Florida Department of Corrections Probation and Parole, Florida Attorney General’s Office, Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, Miami-Dade County Police Department, Broward County Sheriff’s Office, Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office, Martin County Sheriff’s Office, St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office, Indian River County Sheriff’s Office, Key West Police Department, City of Miami Police Department, Hialeah Police Department, Coral Gables Police Department, Miami Gardens Police Department, North Miami Police Department, Opa-Locka Police Department, Miami Beach Police Department, Miramar Police Department, Pembroke Pines Police Department, Plantation Police Department, Ft. Lauderdale Police Department, Wilton Manors Police Department, Coral Springs Police Department, West Palm Beach Police Department, Palm Beach Gardens Police Department, Port St. Lucie Police Department, and Fort Pierce Police Department.

Since its inception in 2005, Operation FALCON has made more than 91,000 arrests and cleared more than 117,000 warrants. It continues to be the largest and most successful fugitive apprehension effort in U.S. Marshals history.

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

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