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For Immediate Release

Contact:
March 29, 2010 Michael R. Regan, United States Marshal
Middle District of Pennsylvania (717) 221-2213
"Operation First Light III" Rounds Up Fugitives From Monroe County

Scranton, PA – Deputy United States Marshals teamed up with fellow county and local law enforcement agencies to conduct a Monroe County-based round up of fugitives. Dubbed “Operation First Light III”, Deputy Marshals and their fellow task force members arrested 28 fugitives.

During the five-day operation that ran from March 22-26, there were a total of 39 fugitive warrants that were closed. Of this number, 28 were closed through arrests, 8 were closed when the individuals were located in prison, and 3 were closed when it was verified that the individuals were deceased.

Honing in on Monroe County’s warrants, Operation First Light III was a success. The United States Marshals Service and agency heads from within Monroe County consider Operation First Light III to be a significant event in creating safer streets for the citizens of Monroe County.

Michael R. Regan, United States Marshals for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, praised the success of the operation. “Without question, the combined criminal investigative resources of the U.S. Marshals Service and our partners in Monroe County made a huge contribution to this important crime initiative,” he said.

Several significant arrests took place during Operation First Light III. One of those was Gregory Wagner who was being sought since early January 2009 by the Pocono Mountain Regional Police Department (PMRPD). Wagner was wanted for the robbery of the Citizen’s Bank in Tobyhanna Township in late December 2008. This case was worked as part of Operation First Light III. On March 19, Deputy U.S. Marshals from Charlotte, North Carolina arrested Wagner.

James O’Connor was being sought by the PMRPD and the Monroe County District Attorneys Office for multiple counts of felony stalking, terroristic threats, and violations of two protection-from-abuse orders. On March 26, Deputy U.S. Marshals arrested O’Connor in Millsboro, Delaware.

Eric Martinborough was wanted by the PMRPD on 48 counts of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, 24 counts of aggravated indecent assault of a minor in Tobyhanna. The assaults began in 2005 when the victim was 13 years old. This case was targeted as part of Operation First Light III. In the weeks leading up to the five-day operation, Deputy U.S. Marshals developed information on the fugitive’s whereabouts in Scranton. This led to the capture of Martinborough in Scranton on February 11.

“This Monroe County-specific operation is indicative of what law enforcement agencies can accomplish when there is cooperation on all levels - federal, state, county and local,” said U.S. Marshal Regan. “With past national operations like Operation Falcon, Operation First Light in York County in October 2007 and Operation First Light II in Lebanon County in March 2009, this localized pooling of resources, sharing information, and combining a wide range of investigative skills and abilities led to some substantial results.”

“We were privileged and honored to have been a part of this operation, and to work side by side with a team of professionals from the U.S. Marshals themselves to our fellow law enforcement officers here in Monroe County,” said Todd A. Martin, Monroe County Sheriff.

Pocono Mountain Regional Police Chief Harry Lewis appreciated the efforts of the roundup. “This operation defines how multiple law enforcement agencies at every level can work together. This cooperative effort will become a mainstay in Monroe County.”

On behalf of Monroe County District Attorney David Christine, Eric Kerchner, Chief of the Monroe County Detectives said, “This was the first time such an operation took place in Monroe County. We found it to be extremely productive and look forward to future joint operations.”

Fugitives whose cases were adopted by Operation First Light III were sought by state, county and local law enforcement agencies based in Monroe County. The following agencies provided manpower and resources to the operation:

  • Pocono Regional Police Department
  • Monroe County District Attorneys Office - Criminal Investigation Division
  • Monroe County Sheriffs Office
  • Pennsylvania State Police

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