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For Immediate Release

Contact:
August 13, 2010 Dominic Guadagnoli, Public Affairs Officer
Florida Regional Fugitive Task Force (850) 554-6602
USMS Headquarters Public Affairs (202) 307-9065
Marshals Task Force and Sheriff’s Deputies Sweep Pensacola Streets;
34 Arrested Guns and Drugs Seized
Pensacola, FL – The U.S. Marshals Florida Regional Fugitive Task Force and the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office hit the streets of Pensacola this week capturing elusive fugitives and thwarting some criminals. The Task Force worked together with the Sheriff’s Office targeting violent fugitives trying to help make the people in the community feel a little safer. Although the operation’s aim was to find fugitives, others were arrested on probable cause charges while the Task Force was attempting to find those with the warrants. In just four days 34 people were arrested and 47 warrants were served on charges including sexual battery, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, kidnapping, strangulation, possession of firearms, threatening witnesses, numerous narcotics violations and threatening to harm a law enforcement officer. Also, during the four day sweep two handguns, more than 60 grams crack cocaine, 5 grams of powder cocaine and over 270 grams of marijuana were confiscated.

The sweep was successful because of assistance of task force officers from Escambia County, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa and Walton County Sheriff’s Offices, Ft. Walton Beach, Niceville and Defuniak Police Departments, (Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) and investigators from the State Attorney’s Office. Another reason that the sweep was so successful was because of the contribution of the Escambia County Mobile Booking Unit that was used to help speed up the arrest process and transport of offenders.

“I truly believe that the success of this operation was augmented by the use of the Sheriff’s Office vehicle which allowed officers to stay out on the street giving them more time to do what was intended – arrest people,” said Task Force spokesman Dominic Guadagnoli. “It’s like the old fashioned Paddy Wagon but modernized to meet law enforcement’s needs today.”

The Sheriff’s Office purchased two Mobile Booking Units about a year ago. They were bought to be used in special operations where large crowds gather and multiple arrests may be anticipated. They have been used at such events such as the Pensacola Interstate Fair and the Blue Angel’s air shows.

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