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For Immediate Release

October 09, 2012 SDUSM Tommy Long, Southern District of Georgia
(912) 652-4577
Florida Fugitive Captured

SERFTF LogoSavannah, GA – A Bristol, GA man wanted on two counts of Sexual Battery on a Child by the Broward County, Florida, Sheriff’s Department was arrested by the United States Marshals Service, Savannah Office of the Southeast Regional Fugitive Task Force and the Wayne County Sheriff’s Department on October 9, 2012.

Joel Beal Smith, 59, was wanted by the Broward County Sheriff’s Department in Fort Lauderdale, Florida for two count of Sexual Battery on a Child. The Broward County Sheriff’s Department is a member agency on the Florida Regional Fugitive Task Force. The Florida Regional Task Force generated information that Smith was possibly living in the Bristol, Georgia area of Wayne County, Georgia. The case was then forwarded to the U.S. Marshals Savannah Office of the Southeast Regional Fugitive Task Force. The Savannah Task Force conducted a 2 and ½ week investigation and determined where they thought Smith was staying in Bristol, GA. On October 5, 2012, Savannah Task Force members and Wayne County deputies went to the location and arrested Smith without incident. Smith was taken to the Wayne County Jail to await extradition proceedings to send him back to south Florida.

Annually, investigations carried out by the U.S. Marshals result in the apprehension of over 36, 000 federal fugitives. More federal fugitives are arrested by the Marshals Service than all other federal agencies combined. In 2011, U.S. Marshals led task forces arrested more than 86,000 state and local fugitives, which cleared over 113,000 warrants.

The Marshals Southeast Regional Fugitive Task Force has three offices: Atlanta, Macon, and Savannah. The task force covers the whole state of Georgia. The Savannah Office of the Southeast Regional Fugitive Task Force is a team comprised of investigators from the Georgia Department of Corrections, the Chatham County Sheriff’s Department, the Savannah Chatham Metropolitan Police Department, the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles, the McIntosh County Sheriff’s Department, the Liberty County Sheriff’s Department, the Bulloch County Sheriff’s Department, the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Department, and the United States Marshals Service. The task force objective is to seek out and arrest fugitives charged with violent crimes, drug crimes, sex offenders, and other felonies.

Additional information about the U.S. Marshals Service can be found at


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