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U.S. Marshals Service


Operation FALCON: Federal and Local Cops Organized Nationally

The Operations:

Operation FALCON is a nationwide fugitive apprehension operation coordinated by the United States Marshals Service (USMS).  The resources of federal, state, city and county law enforcement agencies are combined to locate and apprehend criminals wanted for crimes of violence. 

Since its inception in 2005, Operation FALCON has made 91,086 arrests and cleared 117,874 warrants and is the single most successful initiative aimed at apprehending violent fugitives in U.S. law enforcement history.

The original FALCON I proved the efficacy of the cooperative law enforcement model, which seeks to multiply the positive impact of law enforcement at all jurisdictional levels.  The emphasis centered on gang related crimes, homicides, crimes involving use of a weapon, crimes against children and the elderly, crimes involving sexual assaults, organized crime and drug related fugitives, and other crimes of violence.

FALCON II reaffirmed and built upon the success of the initial FALCON effort, achieving a comparable level of total arrests, while covering only one-half the geographic area of the first nationwide operation. Moreover, FALCON II focused on combating a particular category of fugitive offender. The results of this innovation speak for themselves, as FALCON II investigators successfully removed more than 1,100 dangerous sex offenders from America’s streets.

FALCON III continued to advance these important efforts, and focused heavily on the danger posed by fugitive felons who fail to register as sex offenders, as well as those with gang affiliations. FALCON III covered the eastern half of the United States, with 48 federal districts in 24 states participating. FALCON III resulted in the apprehension of 10,733 fugitive felons, ensuring the continuing safety of America’s communities.

FALCON 2007 continued to promote these important efforts, but took on a more focused, long-term approach by targeting twenty-seven cities and regions experiencing elevated levels of criminal activity. Working in conjunction with the Department of Justice, the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, and other agencies, the U.S. Marshals Service identified and targeted the communities most in need of assistance. The Marshals then reached out to their many partners in federal, state, and local law enforcement to coordinate a sustainable push designed to safely apprehend the maximum number of violent predators. Deputy U.S. marshals teamed with agents, investigators, detectives, officers, and deputies to form a powerful unit that located and arrested 6,406 fugitive felons, ensuring a greater level of safety on the streets of America.  

FALCON 2008 returned to its roots as a nationwide fugitive apprehension initiative with a slight alteration to the original FALCON concept. Instead of a single, intensive week of operations across the nation, participating U.S. Marshal District Offices and Regional Task Forces chose a week in June 2008 to coordinate the best operational schedule, allowing optimal participation by local, county, state and federal law enforcement partners. The U. S. Marshals, assisted by federal, state and local law enforcement, arrested 19,380 fugitives and cleared 25,087 warrants as part of Operation FALCON 2008.

In FALCON 2009, as in prior operations, an emphasis was placed on the capture of violent offenders, gang members and sex offenders. Nationwide, the operation arrested 433 persons wanted for murder, 900 gang members and 2,356 sex offenders. The U.S. Marshals Service, partnering with federal, state and local law enforcement, arrested 35,190 fugitives and cleared 47,418 warrants as part of Operation FALCON 2009 (Federal and Local Cops Organized Nationally). Ranging from coast to coast, Operation FALCON 2009 brought together the resources of 42 federal agencies, 209 state agencies and 1,973 local sheriffs’ and police departments, to again make the program a huge success.

Operation Statistics FALCON I *
April 4-10, 2005
April 17-13, 2006
October 22-28, 2006
June- September
Fugitives Arrested 10,340 9,03 10,733 6,406 19,380 35,190 91,086
Warrants Cleared 13,851 10,419 13,333 7,766 25,087 47,418 117,874
Sex Offenders Arrested 553 1,102 1,659 566 1,096 2,356 7,312
Gang Members Arrested 154 163 364 300 388 900 2,269
Homicide Suspects Arrested 144 73 107 73 161 433 991
FALCON Team  Members
 (daily average)
3,100 2,126 3,100 - - -- -
Federal Agencies 25 25 30 22 30 42 -
State Agencies 206 120 103 70 162 209 -
Local Agencies 366 312 482 242 1,425 1,973 -
County Agencies 362 330 430 206 - is an official site of the U.S. Federal Government, U.S. Department of Justice