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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE FOR INFORMATION CONTACT:
July 09, 2009 Northern District of Ohio
Brian W. Koerbel (216) 276-1033;
USMS Headquarters Public Affairs (202) 307-9065
 
Operation FALCON 2009 Nets 1,211 Arrests in Northern Ohio
 

Cleveland, OH – 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 1,211 arrests within the Northern District of Ohio in June.

Operation FALCON – Northern Ohio 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 1,211 fugitives, including 58 sex offenders and cleared 1,703 warrants in the Northern Ohio area. In addition officers seized 13 firearms, $20,032.00 in currency, and 2.840 kg illegal narcotics.

Two cases that deserve special notation during Operation FALCON 2009 are regarding Jermaine Greene and Robbi Potter. Greene, who was named a Northern Ohio FALCON most wanted fugitive, was wanted on charges of aggravated assault non-family with a gun, endangering children and discharging a firearm and possession of cocaine out of Akron. On April 9, Greene entered into a verbal altercation with a female victim. Greene pulled out a 9mm handgun and fired three shots at the victim while she sat in her automobile with her small child in the back seat. After many hours of investigation and sorting through masses of information, Greene was located and arrested by the task force June 1, the first day of FALCON in Akron.

Robbi Potter was an escaped sex offender from a halfway house in Mansfield. He went on the run with his girlfriend, Candace Watson, and her 4-year old daughter Haylee Donathan. Due to the danger of the child with this fugitive sex offender, the case drew immediate attention from the media, including CNN, Headline News, the Nancy Grace show, Fox National News, America’s Most Wanted and the Jane Velez-Mitchell show. Deputy Marshals and Task Force Officers worked day and night for several weeks on the case. On June 23, an alert citizen driving outside of Las Vegas saw a Clear Channel sponsored digital billboard and recognized the photos of Potter, Watson and Donathan as residents at a retreat center in San Diego County. The tipster immediately contacted police and the San Diego County Sheriff’s Office responded and apprehended Potter and Watson and safely recovered Haylee.

“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 – Northern Ohio consisted of over 500 officers from approximately 115 federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, making up numerous 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.

“The cooperation and enthusiasm of law enforcement agencies in the Northern District of Ohio has always been incredible,” said U.S. Marshal Peter Elliott. “We are facing new challenges in law enforcement and must always adapt to overcome sometimes overwhelming odds when faced with the criminal element that places our communities in danger. With our law enforcement partners, law enforcement at all levels is dedicated to a safer Ohio, nation and world and it shows in this tremendous success.”

Since its inception in 2005, Operation FALCON has made more than 91,086 arrests and cleared more than 117,874 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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