Memphis, TN – The U.S. Marshals Service has conducted a high-impact fugitive apprehension initiative focusing on the country’s most violent offenders in 10 cities, including Memphis, Tenn. This 30-day initiative, called Operation North Star (ONS) resulted in the arrest of 122 fugitives, sex offenders, and violent criminals wanted in the Bluff City. The major partners in this endeavor were the Memphis Police Department, Shelby County Sheriff’s Office, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), Tennessee Department of Correction, Jackson Police Department, and Fayette County Sheriff’s Office.
Operation North Star concentrated on fugitives who were wanted for the most serious, violent, and harmful offenses such as homicide, forcible sexual assault, robbery, and aggravated assault. Operation North Star also looked for opportunities for the U.S. Marshals Service to engage with the community in ways to reduce crime.
Along with Memphis, Operation North Star was deployed in Baltimore, Chicago, Houston, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, New Orleans, New York City, Philadelphia, and Washington D.C. Each has seen a large increase in recent homicides and shootings.
“Operation North Star demonstrates the U.S. Marshals Service’s commitment to reducing violent crime by apprehending dangerous fugitives and sex offenders who prey on the community. By working in conjunction with our law enforcement partners and supporting crime prevention initiatives, we can help create safer neighborhoods,” said Tyreece Miller, U.S. Marshal for the Western District of Tennessee.
Memphis Police Chief Cerelyn “C.J.” Davis said, “I am convinced that collaborative partnerships with federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies are essential to an effective crime fighting strategy. The results of the recent North Star warrant detail validates this for me. Consequently, I am pleased to tell our citizens that more than 120 violent offenders are off the streets and no longer committing crimes in our neighborhoods.”
“By participating in joint inter-agency ventures like Operation North Star, we are able to combine our various resources, field intelligence, and experience levels in order to achieve faster results that a single agency cannot hope for. At last count, 122 violent criminals were targeted and removed from the streets of Memphis and Shelby County during this joint operation, allowing for a safer community environment for our citizens,” said Shelby County Sheriff Floyd Bonner.
ATF Assistant Special Agent in Charge Christopher Rogers said, “ATF is proud to collaborate with its federal counterparts and will continue to spare no expense in disrupting the shooting cycle.”
Between June 1 and June 30, 2022, the U.S. Marshals Service used its multi-jurisdictional investigative authority and fugitive task force network to arrest fugitives wanted in Memphis and Shelby County on charges including murder (10 arrests), attempted murder (eight arrests), sexual offenses (12 arrests), aggravated assault (32 arrests), and armed robbery (seven arrests). In addition, investigators seized nine firearms, $1,282.00 in currency, more than .96 kilograms of illegal narcotics, and two vehicles.
Notable Arrests During Operation North Star:
- Trevon Harris (age 22) Two Counts First Degree Murder, Two Counts Attempted First Degree Murder. Harris was arrested June 1 in Memphis for the alleged shooting of four people in a car resulting in the deaths of Steven Goggins (age 18) and Tyrell Jones (age 15) on May 7, 2020, in Memphis.
- Tristan Haynes (age 39) First Degree Murder. Arrested June 1 in Memphis.
- Donald Harris (age 32) First Degree Murder. Arrested June 6 in Shelbyville, Tenn.
- Terreance Taylor (age 23) First Degree Murder. Arrested June 6 in Memphis.
- Travis Cohens (age 30) First Degree Murder. Cohen was arrested June 10 in Chula Vista, Calif. for the alleged shooting death of Teonka Gunn on March 1, 2022, in Memphis.
- Cassel Hogan (age 19) First Degree Murder. Arrested June 20 in Memphis.
- Keianna Hatchet (age 27). First Degree Murder. Hatchet was arrested June 24 in Memphis for the December 1, 2020, murder of her 2-year-old son.
- Gerald Betton (age 28) Second Degree Murder. Betton was arrested June 29 in Lansing, Ill., for the June 19, 2022, shooting death of Sam Jenkins.
- Tyquavious Earvin (age 21) Second Degree Murder. Arrested June 29 in Southaven, Miss.
- Denizell Gladney (age 26) First Degree Murder. Arrested June 29 in Memphis.
- Lafayette “Lucky” Miller (age 39) Aggravated Kidnapping that caused TBI to issue a statewide AMBER Alert. Miller was arrested June 16 in Memphis in connection to an incident involving two teenagers in Memphis near the intersection of Woodlawn Street and Chelsea Avenue on December 12, 2021.
The concept behind interagency law enforcement operations such as Operation North Star evolved largely from regional and district task forces. Since the 1980s, the U.S. Marshals Service has combined its resources and expertise with local, state, and federal agencies to find and apprehend dangerous fugitives. Operation North Star continued this tradition.