News Banner

For Immediate Release

December 15, 2021 Mike Stokes, Deputy U.S. Marshal
Western District of Missouri, Kansas City (816) 512-1996;
U.S. Marshals Office of Public Affairs (703) 740-1699
U.S. Marshal for the Western District of Missouri to Retire After 43 Years of Public Service

Kansas City, MO – U.S. Marshal Mark James of the Western District of Missouri announced his impending retirement for December 31, 2021.

James was nominated for the position of U.S. Marshal in October 2017 by President Donald J. Trump and confirmed by the U.S. Senate in March 2018. His 43-year journey of public service started in August 1978 as a member of the Missouri State Highway Patrol where he served nine years as a uniformed Trooper in the Springfield area, an undercover investigator, and the originator and supervisor of the Highway Patrol’s first Intelligence Section. He was recruited by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) in 1987 and served a 20-year career as an ATF agent working many undercover investigations in the Kansas City office, the Resident Agent in Charge of the Omaha Field Office, the Intelligence Division Chief where he created ATF’s nationwide Intelligence Field Groups and re-engineered the Headquarters Intelligence Division, and ultimately returned to Kansas City as the Special Agent in Charge of the four-state field division consisting of Missouri, Iowa, Kansas and Nebraska. His ATF career was noted for several significant investigations to include a cold-case murder which earned him the National Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association (FLEOA) Investigator of the Year award, the Oklahoma City Bombing, the Atlanta Olympic Park bombings, the Keyhoe Brothers national manhunt, and as an Incident Commander in the D.C. Snipers case to name a few. His work in the Intelligence Community earned him the designation of an Intelligence Fellow by the Director of Central Intelligence.

Following his ATF career, James served four years as the Director of the Missouri Department of Public Safety and Homeland Security Advisor to the Governor. During those four years he served as the Incident Commander managing 20 federally declared disasters, spearheaded the creation of the statewide interoperable communication system MOSWIN, and created the state’s Intelligence Fusion Center known as the Missouri Information Analysis Center (MIAC).

In 2009, James took his organizational leadership skills in a different direction serving the Metropolitan Community College of Kansas City (MCC) first as its Vice Chancellor of Administrative Services for a year then Chancellor of the college for nearly eight years. Chancellor James was credited for taking the college from the brink of financial disaster in the aftermath of the 2008 and 2009 economic depression to a very financially strong institution known for its workforce development programs serving the industries of Kansas City and strong academic degree programs. Never removed from law enforcement, James created the college’s first campus police department to improve the safety and security of its students, faculty, and staff. He recruited and hired the college’s first police chief who was a direct report to the Chancellor unlike any other college or university. He retired from MCC in 2017 as Chancellor Emeritus.

From the time he was sworn in as U.S. Marshal in April 2018, he immediately began looking for opportunities to focus fugitive apprehension efforts in a strategic manner to affect violent crime. Since the summer of 2018, the USMS Western District of Missouri Kansas City Office has conducted multiple enforcement operations with the following results:

  • 2018 - Operation Washout (10 days) - 56 arrests for felony warrants, 12 firearms and numerous narcotics seized.

  • 2019 - Operation Triple Beam (90 days) - 355 Arrests and the seizure of 69 firearms (43 handguns, 18 rifles, 8 shotguns), 4.4kg narcotics, 2,382 rounds of ammunition and $1,228 in currency.

  • 2020 - Operation Relentless Pursuit (60 days) - 176 arrests and the seizure of 12 firearms (9 handguns, 1 rifle, 2 shotguns), 1.034 kg narcotics, 141 rounds of ammunition and $3,581in currency.

  • 2020 - Operation LeGend (90 days) - 488 arrests, 76 firearms seized, 5.49kg narcotics and $33,757 in currency.

  • 2021 - Operation Triple Beam (60 days) - 150 state, local, and federal arrests, 2 gang members arrested, 10 firearms seized, 0.145 kilograms (kg) of narcotics seized, 96 rounds of ammunition seized, $4,498 in U.S. Currency seized

The other priority Marshal James identified for the Western District of Missouri was to increase the number of law enforcement agencies participating in the USMS Midwest Violent Fugitive Task Force (MVFT). During his tenure, the USMS added 10 agencies and 47 Task Force Officers to include the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, Independence Police Department Street Crimes Unit, Kansas City Police Department’s Fugitive Apprehension Unit, the Clay County Sheriff Fugitive Apprehension Unit, the Buchanan County and St. Joseph PD’s Street Crimes Units, the Nodaway County Sheriff’s Office, the Clinton County Sheriff’s Office, the Cass County Sheriff’s Office, and the Missouri State Highway Patrol Division of Drug and Crime Control to the USMS Kansas City component of the MVFT. The Springfield and southwest Missouri component of the task force includes Christian County Sheriff’s Office, Greene County Sheriff’s Office Fugitive Apprehension Unit, the Springfield Police Department, and the Joplin Police Department. Since Marshal James April 1, 2018, start date this revitalized Midwest Violent Fugitive Task Force has been responsible for the arrest of 2,568 fugitives.

Marshal James credited the career leadership team of the USMS Western District of Missouri and the partner agencies for the hard work and success of the task force. James stated, “These are the best people I have ever worked with, and I can truly retire confidently knowing that this great work will go on without me. It was the honor of my lifetime to wear America’s Star – the gold badge of a United States Marshal in this closing chapter of my law enforcement career.”

The U.S. Marshals Midwest Violent Fugitive Task Force—Springfield Division, partners with members of the Greene County Sheriff’s Office, the Christian County Sheriff’s Office, the Springfield Police Department, and the Joplin Police Department. The mission of U.S. Marshals Service fugitive programs is to seek out and arrest fugitives charged with violent crimes, serious drug offenses, sex offenders, and other serious felonies. To accomplish this mission, the U.S. Marshals Service partners with local law enforcement agencies in 94 district offices, 85 local fugitive task forces, 8 regional task forces, as well as many foreign countries.

Submit tips on fugitives directly and anonymously to the U.S. Marshals Service by downloading the USMS Tips app to your Apple or Android device, or online at:

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


America’s First Federal Law Enforcement Agency