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For Immediate Release

Contact:
January 29, 2013 Chris Bozeman, Lone Star Fugitive Task Force
Deputy U.S. Marshal/Public Information Officer (PIO)
Western District of Texas – San Antonio (210) 271-2507
“Operation Kestrel” Takes Flight
27 Felons Taken Down By 1 Task Force

LSFTF LogoSan Antonio, TX – As of 12:00 p.m. this afternoon, The Lone Star Fugitive Task Force concluded a one day operation resulting in the arrest of 27 state felony offenders. “Operation Kestrel”, a fugitive round-up, comprised of city, county, state, and federal law enforcement officers, targeted approximately 55 fugitives with outstanding felony warrants. The operation was a collaboration of over 60 law enforcement officers from 25 various agencies that sought after fugitives residing in San Antonio, Castroville, Devine, Hondo, Lytle, Natalia, and Pearsall.

Luciano Garcia, 27, a confirmed member of the Bandido motorcycle gang, was arrested at his residence in Hondo without incident, on a felony warrant for allegations involving possession with the intent to distribute a controlled substance. A loaded 9 millimeter handgun was found in the residence during the arrest. Garcia may also be charged on allegations for a felon being found in possession of a firearm.

Deanna Tapia, 19, was arrested at her residence in Hondo after a 2 hour standoff with task force officers, on a felony warrant for allegations involving delivery of a controlled substance. 3 other subjects were taken into custody during the arrest. 2 handguns and approximately 1 gram of methamphetamines was found at the scene. Tapia may also be charged on allegations for a felon being found in possession of a firearm and possession of a controlled substance.

Other significant arrests during this operation include:

  • John Garcia, 24, confirmed member of the Tango Orejon gang; violation of probation; prior arrest includes assault with bodily injury.
  •  Darrel Hernandez, 21, indicted on allegations for assault with a deadly weapon; a handgun was seized at the scene.
  • Joe Edward Oswalt, 24, confirmed member of the North Side Bloods gang; violation of probation; prior arrest includes burglary of a habitat.
  • Sammy Joe Sanchez, 44, violation of probation; prior arrest includes possession of a controlled substance.
  • Vinnie Tapia, 14, violation of probation; prior arrest includes possession of a controlled substance.

Breakdown of warrants cleared and seizures as a result from “Operation Kestrel”:

  • 13 warrants cleared for violent offenses
  • 10 warrants cleared for drug offenses
  • 1 warrant cleared for other felony offense
  • 4 guns seized
  • 2 seizures of approximately 2 grams of methamphetamines.

Robert Almonte, the United States Marshal for the Western District of Texas, stated “Thanks to the outstanding partnership of local, county, state, and federal law enforcement agencies that came together and made this operation a success. I am truly proud of the men and women who worked tirelessly and with dedicated effort to locate and arrest these violent offenders. The Lone Star Fugitive Task Force will continue to coordinate fugitive round-ups such as this to help keep our communities safe, put criminals behind bars, and remove illegal drugs and weapons from the streets.”

Participating Agencies in “Operation Kestrel” were:

  • Castroville Police Department
  • Del Rio Police Department
  • Devine Police Department
  • Hondo Police Department
  • LaCoste Police Department
  • Lytle Police Department
  • Natalia Police Department
  • New Braunfels Police Department
  • San Antonio Police Department
  • San Antonio Independent School District Police Department
  • Bexar County Sheriff’s Office
  • Comal County Sheriff’s Office
  • Medina County Sheriff’s Office
  • Uvalde County Sheriff’s Office
  • Medina County Constables Office
  • 38th Judicial District Probation Office
  • Bexar County Fire Marshals Office
  • Bexar County District Attorney’s Office
  • Medina County District Attorney’s Office
  • Texas Office of The Attorney General
  • Texas Department of Public Safety
  • Texas Department of Criminal Justice - Office of the Inspector General
  • Texas Rangers
  • U.S. Customs & Border Patrol
  • U.S. Marshals Service

U.S. Marshal Robert Almonte, Chief Johnny Martinez, and Sheriff Randy Brown will be available for questions, comments, and sound bites.

Members of the Lone Star Fugitive Task Force:

  • San Antonio Police Department
  • San Antonio Independent School District Police Department
  • New Braunfels Police Department
  • Bexar County Sheriff’s Office
  • Comal County Sheriff’s Office
  • Bexar County Fire Marshal’s Office
  • Bexar County District Attorney’s Office
  • Texas Office of the Attorney General
  • Texas Department of Public Safety – Criminal Investigations Division
  • Texas Department of Criminal Justice – Office of the Inspector General
  • U.S. Marshals Service

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

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