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For Immediate Release

Contact:
July 29, 2009 Corey Britt, Deputy United States Marshal
Lafayette, Louisiana (337) 262-6792
New Orleans Escapee Arrested by U.S. Marshals in Opelousas

W/LA LogoThis morning at approximately 7:00 a.m., thirty-two year old Arthur Johnson was arrested at 607 Chachere, Opelousas by the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force in Lafayette with assistance from the Opelousas Police Department. Johnson, along with Lester Jones, escaped from the Orleans Parish Prison sometime during the evening of July 21, 2009. Johnson was booked into the facility on May 14, 2009, for a state probation violation and was awaiting trial on drug possession charges. The U.S. Marshals Task Force and Orleans Parish Criminal Sheriff’s Office (OPCSO) have been working the case jointly since the time of the escape.

Investigators with the Gulf Coast Regional Task Force (GCRFTF) in New Orleans developed information that Johnson may be in the Opelousas area yesterday evening and forwarded that information to the U.S. Marshals in Lafayette. Task Force Officers in Lafayette immediately responded and were able to confirm Johnson’s location. Task Force officers found Johnson hiding in the bathroom of the residence. Johnson was in the company of Annice Falkins, 22, his girlfriend, who was arrested at the scene for accessory after the fact. Both suspects were processed in Opelousas and have been extradited back to Orleans Parish to face the above mentioned charges.

Task Force officers and the OPCSO continue to track down Lester Jones and are actively working leads in the New Orleans Metro Area.

The United States Marshal for the Western District of Louisiana said, “The coordinated effort of all law enforcement to bring dangerous criminals to justice ensures that the streets and neighborhoods of Louisiana are a safer place to raise our children.”

Annually, investigations carried out by the U.S. Marshals result in the apprehension of approximately 34,000 federal fugitives. More federal fugitives are arrested by Marshals than all other federal agencies combined.

The Western District of Louisiana’s Task Force is a team comprised of law enforcement officers from agencies throughout the Western part of Louisiana (Shreveport, Monroe, Lake Charles, Alexandria, Opelousas, and Lafayette). The task force objective is to seek out and arrest federal, state, and local fugitives, mainly those with violent criminal histories to include sex offenders. In 2008, U.S. Marshals task forces arrested more than 73,000 state and local fugitives on felony charges.

Additional information about the U.S. Marshals can be found at http://www.usmarshals.gov.

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