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For Immediate Release

Contact:
September 10, 2010 SDUSM Tim Stec, District of South Carolina (803) 253-3291
Operation AWOL Nets Arrests, 72 Closed Warrants
Charleston, SC – The United States Marshals Service and its law enforcement partners in the Low Country conducted Operation AWOL from September 7-9. Operation AWOL was a joint fugitive apprehension initiative that targeted sex offenders. Over the course of the three day operation, 33 physical arrests were made closing 72 warrants. Additionally, 20 Low Country sex offenders with active warrants were located in other states and discovered to have been properly registered in those states. In announcing the successful operation, United States Marshal Kelvin Washington said, “Since being tasked with the enforcement of the Adam Walsh Act in 2007, the U.S. Marshals have become heavily involved in the apprehension of unregistered sex offenders. This operation should serve as a message to every unregistered offender out there that you are required to register and if you don’t, we will be looking for you.”

One example of a fugitive that could not outrun Operation AWOL is Montrell Hezekiah. Hezekiah was wanted by the Summerville Police Department for Criminal Sexual Conduct with a Minor. He is alleged to have molested a six year old in July of 2010. Hezekiah was taken into custody at a Central Park Road residence on James Island on September 7. He was booked into the Dorchester County Detention Center pending court proceedings.

The success of Operation AWOL is directly linked to law enforcement partnerships with SLED, the Charleston County Sheriff’s Office, the Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office, The Dorchester County Sheriff’s Office, the North Charleston Police Department and the Charleston Police Department.

Established in 1789, the United States Marshals Service is the nation’s oldest federal law enforcement agency. In fiscal 2009, the Marshals arrested more than 36,400 federal fugitives, clearing 39,400 felony warrants.  Marshal’s Service-led task forces like South Carolina’s Operation Intercept arrested 90,800 state and local fugitives, clearing 117,000 felony warrants. Locally, Operation Intercept arrested over 2,500 South Carolina fugitives during that same period. More information about the Marshals and other South Carolina fugitives can be found on the web at www.usmarshals.gov.