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For Immediate Release

July 21, 2011 Amanda Lyons
Deputy U.S. Marshal
District of South Carolina
Phone:  803-765-5479

Operation “SUREFIRE” Shining the Light on Fugitives & Sex Offenders in Orangeburg

Columbia, SC- 

On July 19 & 20, U.S. Marshals Operation Intercept (OPIN) fugitive apprehension task force, Orangeburg County Sheriff’s Office (OCSO), FBI, the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED), Lexington County Sheriff’s Department, Richland County Sheriff’s Department, Sumter Police Department, and Columbia Police Department joined forces to “Shine the Light” on Registered Sex Offenders and violent fugitives.  OPIN and agents from all offices represented began Operation Surefire with 158 sex offenders and 10 violent fugitive warrants wanted for various felonies to include:  Marquel Joel Gadson AKA: Bushwick for Attempted Murder and Armed Robbery.


During the operation it was determined the active sex offender registry list consisted of 145 registered sex offenders in Orangeburg and not the documented 158.  Operation Surefire successfully conducted 100 compliance checks on registered sex offenders on Tuesday July 19 and determined two offenders were non-compliant and obtained warrants for these individuals for Failure to Register.  On Wednesday July 20, compliance checks were continued and 15 cases are being reviewed for potential violation of state law and one for violation of the federal Adam Walsh Act. 


Operation Surefire also conducted investigations on violent fugitives wanted by the Orangeburg County Sheriff’s Office.  Teams of combined members from every agency conducted numerous interviews and successfully arrested 3 wanted fugitives, to include:  Keith Ellis Curtis and Kevin Lewis Fanning both wanted for the alleged offense of Failure to Register as Sex Offenders and Marquel Gadson for the alleged offenses of Attempted Murder and Armed Robbery on July 17.   Curtis and Lewis were discovered in the Midlands area and taken into custody without incident and transported to the Orangeburg County Detention Center.  Gadson was arrested by the Carlisle Police Department in Carlisle, PA.  OPIN developed information Gadson was driving to New York and immediately contacted the Virginia State Police who aided in the location and apprehension of Gadson.  Virginia State Police advised Gadson had driven up Interstate 81 and would be stopping at weigh stations to have his truck inspected.  Acting on this information, a lead was sent to all weigh stations on the I-81 corridor and Gadson was arrested without incident as he pulled into the Pennsylvania weigh station.  Gadson is being held in a local facility awaiting extradition hearings.      

Kelvin Washington, U.S. Marshal for the District of South Carolina, stated: “Operation Surefire has been a tremendous success.  The collaboration between local, state, and federal authorities have again proven fruitful when resources are combined to improve the safety of South Carolina.  We are a family of law enforcement determined to work together and bring those most wanted to justice.  The Marshals Service looks forward to future operations with our law enforcement community.”

Sheriff Leroy Ravenell, Orangeburg County Sheriff’s Office, stated: “Operation Surefire is proof that collaborations work!  We are grateful for the assistance of the Marshals Service and the other agencies to verify the individuals on our sex offender registry but to also locate fugitives like Marquel Gadson.  The Orangeburg County Sheriff’s Office will repeatedly verify sex offender without fail.” 

Established in 1789, the United States Marshals Service is the nation’s oldest federal law enforcement agency. In fiscal 2010, the Marshals arrested more than 36,100 federal fugitives, clearing 39,400 felony warrants and arrested 11,072 sex offenders.  Marshal’s Service-led task forces like South Carolina’s Operation Intercept arrested 81,900 state and local fugitives, clearing 108,200 felony warrants. Locally, Operation Intercept arrested over 2,500 South Carolina fugitives during that same period. More information about the Marshals and other South Carolina fugitives can be found on the web at