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For Immediate Release

Contact:
January 20, 2012 DUSM Amanda Lyons, District of South Carolina
(803) 765-5479
Crimestoppers Brings Olive Garden Shooting Suspect to Justice

Columbia, SC - On Thursday, Operation Intercept (OPIN) the U.S. Marshals fugitive apprehension task force arrested Gonzales Wardlaw AKA: “Snoop” after receiving a tip from Crimestoppers at a local apartment complex off of Bailey Street in Columbia. Wardlaw was sought by the Columbia Police Department for the Murder of Thomas T. Hoefer on December 29, 2011 at the Olive Garden Restaurant in Harbison.

OPIN was contacted by Columbia Police Department to assist in the location and apprehension of Wardlaw. OPIN began investigation into the whereabouts of Wardlaw and on Thursday a tipster contacted Crimestoppers stating “Wardlaw was hiding out in an apartment near Bailey Street.” Crimestoppers immediately sent the information to OPIN where the tip information proved fruitful and Wardlaw was taken into custody without incident and transported to the Lexington County Detention Center to await court proceedings.

U.S. Marshal Kelvin Washington for the District of South Carolina stated: “Wardlaw has a criminal history to include convictions for Unlawful Carrying of a Firearm, Burglary and Grand Larceny and is no stranger to law enforcement. The concerned citizens and Crimestoppers are invaluable tools to law enforcement and have led to another alleged murder suspects’ apprehension. The Crimestoppers resource aids the community with a confidential and secure phone or web tip line that allows crimes to be solved through the anonymous tips provided. OPIN consists of Deputy U.S. Marshals and task force officers from: Richland, Orangeburg, and Lexington Counties, Columbia Police Officers, FBI and SLED agents all of which benefit from the “tips” provided on a daily basis in apprehending wanted fugitives.”

Established in 1789, the United States Marshals Service is the nation’s oldest federal law enforcement agency. In fiscal 2010, the Marshals arrested more than 36,100 federal fugitives, clearing 39,400 felony warrants and arrested 11,072 sex offenders. Marshal’s Service-led task forces like South Carolina’s Operation Intercept arrested 81,900 state and local fugitives, clearing 108,200 felony warrants. Locally, Operation Intercept arrested over 2,500 South Carolina fugitives during that same period.

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

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America’s Oldest Federal Law Enforcement Agency