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For Immediate Release

May 19, 2011 Marty R. West, Supervisory Inspector
Florida Regional Fugitive Task Force 850-942-8395;
USMS Headquarters Public Affairs (202) 307-9065
U.S. Marshals Florida Caribbean Regional Fugitive Task Force Receives National Director’s Honorary Award

Arlington, VA – The Office of the Director of the U.S. Marshals Service is pleased to announce that the U.S. Marshals Florida Caribbean Regional Fugitive Task Force (FRFTF), including its Tallahassee Office, received a Director’s Honorary Award today during a ceremony in Arlington, VA. The FRFTF was commended for their part in assisting local and state law enforcement agencies in apprehending Florida’s most violent felons in 2010. The Director’s Honorary Distinguished Group Award is given for outstanding accomplishments and success of a specified group within the agency. The FRFTF was nominated by U.S. Marshal Dennis Williamson for the Northern District of Florida, citing their growth and accomplishments in their first year as a Regional Fugitive Task Force and statistical data of fugitives arrested and warrants cleared in 2010. The Florida Caribbean Regional Fugitive Task Force is presently comprised of 87 law enforcement agencies in the State of Florida including 6 federal, 3 state, and 78 local agencies with a total of 304 task force officers. The FRFTF has office locations in Pensacola, Tallahassee, Jacksonville, Gainesville, Tampa, Fort Myers, Fort Pierce, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, Miami, and Orlando.

“There is no doubt that our task force has had a major impact in making our communities safer, by taking violent criminals off the streets,” said FRFTF Commander Frank Chiumento. Quoting task force statistics, Chiumento said, “In 2010, we apprehended a total of 5,650 fugitives clearing 6,665 warrants, and seized 443 firearms, $2,200,850.00 in U.S. currency, 14 vehicles and almost 200 kg in narcotics.” Chiumento, who works in Orlando where the FRFTF Headquarters Office is located, expressed his gratitude to the men and women who make up the task force and credited the success of the task force to their hard work, perseverance, and dedication. Chiumento stated “we credit them all for their individual contributions in making this award possible and know that our task force is truly a team effort by many and without that cooperation, support, and devotion; we would not be able to accomplish all that we do.”

The Tallahassee Division of the FRFTF is comprised of law enforcement officers from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Gadsden County Sheriff’s Office, Leon County Sheriff’s Office, Leon County State Attorney’s Office, Liberty County Sheriff’s Office, Madison County Sheriff’s Office, Perry Police Department, Tallahassee Police Department, Taylor County Sheriff’s Office and the Wakulla County Sheriff’s Office. These local law enforcement agencies contribute approximately 23 officers in both full time and part time roles with the officers sworn in as Special Deputy US Marshals. This deputation allows the officers to cross their normal jurisdictional lines to pursue fugitives wanted for violent crimes by their departments and gives their respective agencies access to the full resources of the U.S. Marshals. This partnership has also allowed significant cost savings to these agencies as the U.S. Marshals Service has been able to purchase eight fully equipped vehicles for local departments as well as reimburse the agencies for overtime expenses incurred during the pursuit of locally wanted violent fugitives. U.S. Marshals and the above task force members apprehended over 400 violent fugitives in the Tallahassee area alone while clearing over 630 active felony warrants. Locally, task force members arrested 20 individuals for homicide related charges, 30 for sex crimes, 22 sex offenders/predators for Failure to Register, and over 130 fugitives for Robbery, Assault and Weapon related offenses. Over 200 subjects were arrested on charges ranging from Burglary, Car Theft, Kidnapping, Fraud, Narcotics, and Violation of Probation where the original offense was a violent crime. U.S. Marshal Dennis Williamson stated “ the combined efforts of these law enforcement agencies partnered with the US Marshals FRFTF to combat violent crime by apprehending these violent felons has had a positive impact on the safety of the citizens of this area.” Nationally US Marshal led task forces similar to the Florida Regional Fugitive Task Force arrested over 120,000 state and federal fugitives in 2010.

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