Yakima, WA – United States Attorney General William Barr is
praising law enforcement after authorities in the Yakima, Washington
area who recently completed a 15 week-long joint federal, state, local
and Tribal law enforcement initiative named Operation Invictus Civitas,
“Undefeatable Community”, that resulted in the arrest of 246 fugitives
and violent offenders in the Yakima County area.
Invictus Civitas is a joint United States Marshal Service, Operation
Triple Beam, Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) and Pacific Northwest
Violent Offender Task Force initiative geared toward reducing violent
crime in the Yakima region. Project Safe Neighborhoods is a national
initiative that brings together federal, state, local and Tribal law
enforcement officials, prosecutors, and community leaders to identify
the most pressing violent crime problems in a community and develop
comprehensive solutions to address them.
Yakima was selected as
a PSN focus area in 2018 due to its high rates of gang and gun-related
violent crime. The U.S. Marshal Service designed Operation Invictus
Civitas to initiate a community-based, comprehensive, multi-component
strategy being implemented over a two-year period.
Led by the
U.S. Marshal Service and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern
District of Washington, Operation Invictus Civitas launched on June 3,
2019. As part of this coordinated and targeted initiative, the
operations arrests included: 9 for sexual offenses; 62 for assaults; 19
for robberies; 29 for weapons violations; 5 for homicides; 1 for
kidnapping; 1 for arson; 15 for burglaries; 63 for narcotics violations;
and 42 for other crimes including federal escapes.
Operation Statistics at a Glance
Operation Invictus Civitas resulted in the seizure of
nearly 4.5 pounds of controlled substances, over $37,000 in U.S.
currency, a ballistic vest, and 12 vehicles that were either stolen and
recovered or seized as a result of criminal activity.
Hyslop, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington,
said “Fifty-four percent of the arrests were gang-related.” “No violent
crime is acceptable in the Eastern District of Washington.” He
continued, “…it highlights the joint commitment, dedication, and
partnership between our state, local, Tribal and federal partners in
combatting violent crime and removing violent criminals and gang members
from the community to face justice.”
Attorney General William P.
Barr said, “The revitalized Project Safe Neighborhoods program is a
major success”. “It packs a powerful punch by combining advanced data
with local leadership, further reducing violence in communities across
the country and improving overall public safety. U.S. Attorneys continue
to focus their enforcement efforts against the most violent criminals
and work in partnership with federal, state, local, and Tribal police.
The Justice Department’s relationships across the board have never been
In February 2019, President Trump explained at the
Major County Sheriffs and Cities Chiefs Association Joint Conference,
"The cornerstone of our strategy is revitalizing one of the most
effective crime reduction initiatives in history - Project Safe
Neighborhoods. This program brings together law enforcement, community
groups and local leaders to get the most violent offenders in the most
dangerous areas off our streets and put them behind bars as quickly and
easily as possible."
U.S. Marshal Craig Thayer, Eastern
District of Washington, commented that, “The 246 violent offenders
safely arrested during Operation Invictus Civitas are testament to the
dedication and professionalism of the participating law enforcement
agencies. Our communities are safer because of this success. We
recognize that there are still those who are committing illegal acts
against the community, and we want them to know that we are committed to
protecting the community from violent crime going forward.”
Pacific Northwest Violent Offender Task Force (PNVOTF) is a U.S. Marshal
Service sponsored partnership composed of federal, state and local law
enforcement officers from Washington, Oregon and Alaska. The primary
mission of the PNVOTF is to locate, arrest, and return to the justice
system the most violent, most egregious federal and state fugitives.
Operation Invictus Civitas partners include the United States Marshal
Service, United States Attorney’s Office, Federal Bureau of
Investigation, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Drug
Enforcement Administration, Yakima County Sheriff’s Office, Washington
State Department of Corrections, Yakima Police Department, Union Gap
Police Department, Yakama Nation Department of Public Safety, Benton
County Sheriff’s Office, Kennewick Police Department, LEAD Task Force,
Yakima County Prosecutors Office and Maike & Associates.
Additional information about the U.S. Marshals Service can be found
First Federal Law Enforcement Agency