Camden, NJ – The U.S. Marshals Service has conducted a high-impact fugitive apprehension initiative focusing on some of the most violent offenders throughout the southern counties of New Jersey. This three-week enforcement initiative, called "Operation Rodeo", resulted in the arrest of 65 fugitives, including 33 gang members (largely Bloods members, but also Crips, Pagans, and lesser known gangs), and other violent criminals in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Louisiana, Florida, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. These fugitives were wanted out of Cumberland, Salem, Gloucester, and Camden Counties, as well as other states but were located in these four counties.
“Once again Deputy U.S. Marshals from the District of New Jersey, the New York/New Jersey Regional Fugitive Task Force, our state, county, local, and federal, partners combined efforts to locate and capture dangerous fugitives throughout the state of New Jersey all in an effort to maintain a safer community,” said U.S. Marshal Juan Mattos, Jr.
During "Operation Rodeo" the District of New Jersey and the New York/New Jersey Regional Fugitive Task Force used its multi-jurisdictional investigative authority and fugitive task force network to arrest fugitives wanted on charges including homicide, sex assault, aggravated assault, robbery, carjacking, weapons violations, felony narcotics distribution, burglary, arson, failure to register as a sex offender, and other felonies. In addition, investigators seized four firearms, $3,015 in currency, and various illegal narcotics. Among the 65 fugitives arrested were:
- Alexion Mercado, 28, was wanted for attempted murder in Camden County since 2019. He was located and arrested on Sept. 12 by the U.S. Marshals Task Force in San Juan, Puerto Rico. He was literally taken into custody on the beach and was in possession of a Glock .40 caliber pistol and five extended magazines at the time of arrest.
- Tyshone Carter, 28, was wanted for a September homicide in Philadelphia. He was located and arrested on Sept. 16 in Cherry Hill hiding under a child’s bed.
- Male Juvenile, 16, was wanted in Camden County for aggravated assault since August. He was located and arrested on Sept. 9 in Lindenwold and was in possession of a “ghost gun” handgun at the time of arrest.
- Jason Johnson, 50, was wanted in Salem County on a 20-year-old warrant issued in 2002 for illegal firearms possession. He was located and arrested in Monroe, Louisiana, on Sept. 6.
- Tajjir Buckhannon, 25, was wanted in Camden County for a shooting which occurred in early September. He was located and arrested on Sept. 15 in Camden.
This year, the District of New Jersey and New York/New Jersey Regional Fugitive Task Force have conducted several successful area specific sweep initiatives which resulted in the location and arrest of hundreds of wanted fugitives throughout the state.
“Deputy U.S. Marshals continuously work to collaborate on operations with our state, county, local, and federal partners, by conducting strategic enforcement endeavors to maintain safer communities,” said Mattos.
Vineland Police Chief Pedro Casiano stated, “Joint operations like this involving local, county, state, and federal agencies all focused on ridding our communities of persistent and violent offenders, not only reassures the law-abiding people of our communities that the police are working hard on their behalf, but sends a powerful message to those criminals in our midst, that we will find you and bring you to justice.”
Salem County Sheriff Chuck Miller stated, “I would like to thank the members of the US Marshals NY/NJ Regional Fugitive Task Force and the assisting agencies for their dedicated service in removing violent and dangerous criminals from the streets of Salem County. Operations such as this demonstrate the success garnered when multiple agencies work together. The Salem County Sheriff’s Office is a proud partner of the US Marshals NY/NJ Regional Fugitive Task Force and remains dedicated to its mission. The office is thankful that because of this operation, the citizens of Salem Count have a safer community.”
Salem County Prosecutor Kristin J. Telsey added, “These arrests demonstrate the effectiveness of team effort between law enforcement agencies. I want to thank all of the partner agencies for these efforts, which reinforce our commitment to ensuring that those who have attempted to avoid our justice system will, in fact, be held accountable.”
Many thanks to the Vineland Police Department, Salem County Prosecutor’s Office, Salem County Sheriff’s Office, Salem City Police Department, Cumberland County Prosecutor’s Office, Gloucester County Sheriff’s Office, Gloucester County Prosecutor’s Office, New Jersey State Police, New Jersey State Parole, New Jersey Department of Corrections, Pennsauken Police Department, Carneys Point Police Department, Penns Grove Police Department, Camden County Police Department, Camden County Sheriff’s Department, Camden County Prosecutor’s Office, Atlantic County Sheriff’s Office the entirety of our New York/New Jersey Regional Fugitive Task Force law enforcement partners throughout the state of New Jersey for their cooperation and assistance throughout this operation.
The concept behind interagency law enforcement operations such as "Operation Rodeo" evolved largely from regional and district task forces. Since the 1980s, the Marshals Service has combined their resources and expertise with local, state, and federal agencies to find and apprehend dangerous fugitives. "Operation Rodeo" continued this tradition.