Washington, DC – The U.S. Marshals Service 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.
“Together with our law enforcement partners across the country, the Justice Department is zeroing in on the violent fugitives responsible for the greatest crime in our communities,” said Attorney General Merrick B. Garland. “The U.S. Marshals Service conducted Operation North Star III to target the most violent criminals, and together with state and local law enforcement arrested over 4,400 fugitives across 20 cities in just three months.”
“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.”
During ONS III, the Southwest Investigative Fugitive Team affected 244 physical arrests (with multiple warrants), including 32 firearms seized/recovered, 472 rounds of ammunition, 65 stolen motor vehicles recovered, $5,374.00 seized and 1.374 kg of illegal narcotics seized. Partnering agencies include the Bernalillo County Sheriffs Office, the New Mexico Department of Corrections-Probation & Parole, the Albuquerque Police Department, the New Mexico State Police, the Second Judicial District Attorney’s Office, the Torrance County Sheriffs Office and the Department of Homeland Security.
“The results of this joint operation show true results in suppressing the destructive and ongoing crimes being committed by violent felons in our community,” said Sonya K. Chavez, U.S. Marshal for the District of New Mexico. “The United States Marshals Service, along with our partners, is committed to continuing to bring resources to New Mexico to address important issues like this that affect the quality of life of our citizens,” she added.
“Ensuring the safety and well-being of the residents of Bernalillo County is our utmost priority. This operation, and the successful collaboration with the U.S. Marshals and our partner agencies, underscores our unwavering commitment to removing violent offenders from our streets and restoring a sense of security in our communities. The dedication and tenacity of our officers, combined with the valuable community support, are key to these ongoing successes. We are grateful to be part of an initiative that truly makes a difference and look forward to continued collaboration in the future.” - Sheriff John Allen, Bernalillo County Sheriff's Office.
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.