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For Immediate Release

Contact:
May 07, 2013 Senior Inspector Barry Golden (954) 214-0301;
Office of Public Affairs (202) 307-9065
Nationwide Sweep by U.S. Marshals Puts 345 Dangerous Sex Offenders Behind Bars

Miami, FL – Today the U.S. Marshals Service concluded Operation Guardian, a three-year, national initiative specifically targeting the country’s most dangerous noncompliant sex offenders. Deputy Marshals and law enforcement partners arrested 345 individuals who had failed to register with state authorities as required by law.

Marshals worked with state and local officials to identify specific non-registering fugitives based on their danger to the public and prior convictions for sex offenses. As of today, USMS investigators have located 427 offenders of 444 sought (or 96 percent of those targeted), including 82 individuals found outside the United States. These individuals represent more than 500 prior convictions for sexual offenses.

“Members of the Miami Dade Police Department Sexual Predator Enforcement Unit and US Marshals Service Sex Offender investigators worked diligently to track down the high profile sexual offenders during Operation Guardian,” said Neil K. DeSousa, Acting United States Marshal for the Southern District of Florida. “Servio Fraga and Ariel Hurtado were two of the most elusive sex offenders sought by the Miami Dade Police Department’s Sexual Predator Unit. You could definitely say these two sex offenders were the “worst of the worst” in Miami Dade County.”

“South Florida is burdened with an overwhelming amount of sexual offenders, and although “Operation Guardian” has ended, the US Marshals Service and partners of the Florida Regional Fugitive Task Force continue to conduct fugitive investigations on those sexual offenders that violate the Adam Walsh act in a steadfast effort to keep our South Florida community safe said DeSousa.”

“The United States Marshals Service will not tolerate noncompliant and violent sex offenders who evade the law. The message we send to these individuals is there is nowhere you can hide,” said Director Stacia Hylton of the U.S. Marshals Service. “Operation Guardian enabled us to bring to bear the full weight of international, federal, state and local law enforcement resources and intelligence to locate the most egregious sex offenders—those who have victimized innocent children.”

The USMS assigns 129 criminal investigators to conduct sex offender, non-registrant investigations on a full-time basis. Operation Guardian was a collaborative effort led by the Marshals Service in cooperation with Interpol, the Diplomatic Security Service, Customs and Border Protection, and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

“The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children is proud to partner with the U.S. Marshals in helping to protect our nation’s children,” said John Ryan, chief executive officer, NCMEC. “We applaud the overwhelming success of Operation Guardian which located hundreds of the country’s most dangerous noncompliant sex offenders.”

Among those arrested during Operation Guardian were:

  • Southern District of Florida case: Ariel Hurtado, on August 19, 2010, in Miami, Florida. Hurtado was wanted in Miami-Dade County, FL for six (6) warrants stemming from his previous conviction in 1997 for Lewd & Lascivious Assault on a Child. Hurtado was also charged in 2004 for multiple counts of Lewd and Lascivious Exhibition on a Child and an Adult, after exposing himself at a school bus stop. The state of Florida designated Hurtado as a Sexual Predator and required him to register as such. In November of 2008, Hurtado absconded from registration and later fled from police during a high speed chase. In August 2010, Miami Dade Police Sexual Predator Unit detectives and U.S. Marshals developed a lead on Hurtado at an apartment complex in Miami. Investigators conducted surveillance and arrested Hurtado as he exited the apartment building. Hurtado was subsequently sentenced to ten (10) years in state prison.
     
  • Southern District of Florida case: Servio Fraga, on April 13, 2011, in Miami, Florida. Fraga was wanted by the Miami-Dade Police Department for Failing to Register as a Sex Offender and a Probation Violation based on an original charge of Battery on Law Enforcement. Fraga was a member of a violent street gang in Miami and considered a Career Criminal with the Miami-Dade Police Department. In 1997, Fraga was convicted of 3rd Degree Murder after he stole a vehicle and ran over an innocent pedestrian. In 1999, Fraga was convicted of Sex Assault on a Child Under 16 and was designated as a Sexual Offender. In 2010, Fraga absconded from registration and disappeared. In April 2011, U.S. Marshals and members of the Miami Dade Police Department’s Sexual Predator Enforcement Unit developed a lead on Fraga at a residence in Broward County, FL. Investigators conducted surveillance and observed Fraga exit the residence. Fraga attempted to flee, but was quickly apprehended and arrested. A subsequent search revealed a .40 caliber Glock handgun which had been stolen from a residence in Hialeah. Fraga is presently in jail and faces up to twenty-five (25) years in prison.
  • Southern District of Florida case: Mark McGoldrick, on May 19, 2011 in San Francisco, California. McGoldrick was wanted in Palm Beach County, FL for Failing to Register as a Sex Offender. In 1994, McGoldrick was arrested for trying to lure a seven (7) year old child into his vehicle and then exposing himself to the child. McGoldrick was designated as a Sex Offender and required to register as such. McGoldrick was also previously arrested for Soliciting Prostitution, Narcotics and three (3) prior Failure to Register as a Sex Offender charges. In 2010, McGoldrick again exposed himself to a mother and child in Palm Beach County, FL and then fled the area. McGoldrick was featured on America’s Most Wanted with John Walsh in 2011. Tips flooded in and U.S. Marshals tracked McGoldrick to New Orleans, Louisiana. Just before investigators arrived, McGoldrick fled the area, but was later arrested in San Francisco during a Robbery attempt. McGoldrick was subsequently sentenced to five (5) years in state prison.

The Behavioral Analysis Unit at the USMS National Sex Offender Targeting Center worked with the investigators to identify information related to the fugitives across a number of personal or social dimensions, including past sexual offending behavior. The prior convictions of the located offenders represent hundreds of victims and thousands of known sexual assaults. Most of the sexual assault events were engaged against children, and many involved extreme violence.

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children estimates more than 700,000 sex offenders reside in the U.S. and that more than 100,000 are classified as noncompliant or unregistered. Since its inception in 2006, the SOIB has planned and executed more than 900 sex offender compliance and enforcement operations. During these operations, the USMS partnered with more than 4,800 state and local law enforcement agencies to conduct more than 150,000 compliance checks.

For a picture of Servio Fraga and Ariel Hurtado, please contact Miami Dade Police Media Relations detective Roy Rutland at (305) 471-1900.

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

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