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For Immediate Release

Contact:
October 16, 2019

Luis Byerly, Deputy U.S. Marshal
Eastern District Of Washington – Yakima (509) 575-5917;

U.S. Marshals Office of Public Affairs (703) 740-1699
246 Arrested During Operation Invictus Civitas 'Undefeatable Community' in Yakima County

Operation Invictus Civitas logoYakima, 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.

Operation 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

In addition, Operation Invictus Civitas resulted in the seizure of 33 firearms, 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.

William D. 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 stronger.”

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.”

The 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.

Press Conference for Operation Invictus

Additional information about the U.S. Marshals Service can be found at http://www.usmarshals.gov.

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