Washington, DC – The U.S. Marshals Service (USMS) arrested 4,455 violent fugitives during the latest phase of its high-impact fugitive apprehension initiative, dubbed Operation North Star III (ONS III). ONS III targeted violent offenders in 20 cities and resulted in the clearance of 2,818 violent warrants, to include homicide, forcible sexual assault, robbery, aggravated assault, and firearms violations. During this 3-month enforcement effort, investigators also seized 555 firearms, more than $1 million in United States currency, and 85 kilograms of illegal narcotics.
The primary jurisdictions of ONS III were Albuquerque; Baltimore; Buffalo, New York; Chicago; Cleveland; Columbus, Ohio; Detroit; Houston; Indianapolis; Jackson, Mississippi; Kansas City, Missouri; Los Angeles; Memphis, Tennessee; Milwaukee; New Orleans; New York; Oakland, California; Philadelphia; Puerto Rico; and Washington, D.C.
In New Orleans the USMS New Orleans Task Force arrested 201 felony fugitives during the operation which ran from June 5th until September 8th, 2023. Of those 201 fugitives 33 were arrested for homicide, 46 for assault, 32 for sex offenses, 15 for robbery, and 15 for weapons offenses. Over 30 firearms were seized during the New Orleans phase of the national operation.
“Operation North Star (ONS) is an evidence-based strategy that targets the drivers of violence in our communities,” said U.S. Marshals Service Director Ronald Davis. “ONS is part of the Attorney General’s violent crime reduction strategy, and its success is based on community partnerships and collaboration with our local and state law enforcement partners. I want to thank the outstanding work of the women and men of the USMS and our partnering law enforcement agencies. Together with the community, these efforts have contributed to successful violence reduction efforts in ONS cities.”
This enforcement action marks the third ONS since July 2022. In total, US Marshals have apprehended more than 6,700 wanted fugitives, including 900 charged with homicide, in addition to removing more than 900 weapons associated to violent crime. The concept behind interagency law enforcement operations such as ONS evolved largely from regional and district fugitive task forces. Since the 1980s, the U.S. Marshals Service has combined their resources and expertise with local, state, and federal agencies to find and apprehend dangerous fugitives.
U.S. Marshal for the Eastern District of Louisiana, Enix Smith III said, “Being selected to participate in Operation North Star III was an invaluable resource to the Eastern District of Louisiana. With the support of our partner agencies, the most dangerous and violent fugitives are being apprehended. A profound thank you to the New Orleans Police Department, New Orleans EMS, Kenner Police Department, Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office, Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office, Plaquemines Parish Sheriff’s Office, St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office, St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office, LA State Police, LA Probation and Parole, U.S. Border Patrol, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) ERO, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) New Orleans Field Office, and Crimestoppers GNO.