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For Immediate Release

Contact:
March 22, 2013 Dominic Guadagnoli, Florida Regional Fugitive Task Force (850) 554-6602;
Sena Maddison, Escambia County Sheriff’s Office (850) 554-2369
Operation FASTER Nabs Unregistered Sex Offenders
U.S. Marshals and Escambia County Target Sex Offenders

Pensacola, FL – At least 50 wanted people were locked up, courtesy of a sweep led by U.S. Marshals and the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office targeting the Sex Offenders who failed to keep up with their state mandated registration requirements as registered sex offenders. The week long operation known as Operation F.A.S.T.E.R. (Federally Assisting State Teams Enforcing Registration) also cleared over 50 warrants. Escambia County was chosen because of the sheer number of people required to register as sex offenders reportedly living in the county.

“There are over 850 people who fit that requirement here in Escambia County,” said Inspector Dominic Guadagnoli of the Task Force. “When our investigators started delving into that list and saw that more and more of those people were not doing what they were supposed to; along with the Sheriff’s Office we decided it was time to make an effort to find some of these ‘missing’ offenders.”

Early Monday morning members of the Florida Regional Fugitive Task Force (FRFTF), to also include task force officers from Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa and Walton County Sheriff’s Offices and Fort Walton Beach Police Department met to kick off the round-up. During the course of the operation, the FRFTF also provided Deputy Marshals from Pensacola, Panama City, Tallahassee and Gainesville as well as equipment to support the apprehension efforts.

“As usual when governmental agencies partner in the spirit of cooperation, success is almost a given,” stated Sheriff David Morgan of Escambia County. “We are proud to have been a part of this effort led by the U.S. Marshal’s Task Force and the State Attorney’s Office in taking known sexual predators off the streets of Escambia County, thereby ensuring the safety of our children.”

Although unlike on numerous occasions in the past where the FRFTF, state and local law enforcement agencies have rallied together to arrest violent fugitives; Operation FASTER is the first effort led by the U.S. Marshals and the Escambia Sheriff’s Office, with the full support of the State Attorney’s Office that was completely coordinated and executed on placing emphasis on the capture of just sex offenders. The U.S. Marshals adopted such interagency teamwork in the early 1980s, when they combined their resources and expertise in fugitive apprehension with the local knowledge and unique insight of officers on the street level.

Commander Frank Chiumento who oversees the FRFTF added, “The officers that work these operations live in the communities they serve,” Professionally, they feel they have an obligation to the community, personally they want their neighbors and their families to feel safe and they are doing something about it,” said Chiumento.

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

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