MIAMI, FL – Thank you, Deputy Attorney
General Filip. All of us appreciate your support and that of the Attorney
General and the U.S. Department of Justice in making our homeland a safer
Operation Orange Crush, led by
the U.S. Marshals, represents an unprecedented law enforcement effort to
combat violent crime concentrated on a single state over a specific period
I want to acknowledge the huge support from
the representatives of our partner law enforcement agencies who are standing
with us today. We are proud to have been able to work with over 30 federal,
state and local agencies here in South Florida alone.
Together, we can proclaim Florida is much
safer today because of the combined efforts of the state, local and federal
officers who took 2,497 of Florida’s most-wanted – with a combined total of
12,489 prior arrests – off the street.
Operation Orange Crush was truly a team
effort and should speak volumes to the citizens of this great state that law
enforcement is united in fighting violent crime. This operation represents
the first time in the state of Florida that law enforcement jurisdictions
large and small from Miami to Tallahassee to Panama City concentrated,
together, in rounding up violent offenders who had outstanding warrants.
Crushing violent crime by apprehending wanted
suspects is no easy task. The targets for Operation Orange Crush were
violent felony fugitives, gang members and sex offenders. While planning for
this operation, we asked state and local law enforcement to give us their
worst–of-the-worst wanted fugitives and that is who we went after.
These are individuals that purposely try to
evade apprehension, are constantly on the move, use alias names and every
trick in the book to stay clear of the police. But, for almost 2,500 of
them, they were no match for this modern-day posse of motivated law
In a few moments Marshal Pharo will give an
example of the tangible, significant threat to the communities we were able
to bring to justice during this operation, but I want to take just a moment
to discuss what is among the most senseless and incomprehensible of criminal
offenses – sex offenders who prey on defenseless victims.
The U.S. Marshals were tasked with important
new responsibilities in 2006 under the Adam Walsh Child Protection and
Safety Act. This important new legislation designated the Marshals as the
lead federal agency tasked with locating fugitive sex offenders who fail to
register or do not comply with their state’s registry requirements.
I am extremely proud that the efforts of
those participating in this operation resulted in over 100 arrests of sex
offenders who failed to register.
I am convinced Operation Orange Crush made a
difference for the victims of violent crime in Florida. The 2,497 fugitives
we apprehended and returned to justice included 113 murderers, 255 sex
offenders, and 55 gang members.
Each of the agencies here today embodies
commitment – a commitment to work together; a commitment to keep the
pressure on fugitives and bring them to justice; a commitment to ridding our
streets of violent offenders; and a commitment to prevent further
victimization of our most vulnerable citizens.
Although this particular operation has ended,
tomorrow there will continue to be Deputy U.S. Marshals, Sheriff’s Deputies
and police officers from jurisdictions throughout the state, all working
together, pursuing dangerous fugitives.
Victims of violent crime expect and deserve
to see that those who have harmed them or their loved ones are brought to
justice. If you know you have an outstanding arrest warrant, do the right
thing and turn yourself in – otherwise you will probably be getting a visit
from one of us. The United States Marshals Service and Florida law
enforcement are committed to crushing crime by arresting violent offenders.
Thank you. I will now turn the podium over to
U.S. Marshal Pharo, who has some remarks before we begin taking questions.
Read News Release: Operation Orange Crush Nabs Thousands of
Fugitives Across Florida
B-Roll operational footage
of Operation Orange Crush will be available for satellite uplink today from
Noon to 1 p.m. EST. Coordinates below:
U/L Freq: 14340V
D/L Freq: 12040H
Horizons 2 is located at 74.05* West