US Marshals nab 7,100 fugitives in 6-week nationwide sweep

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The U.S. Marshals Service says it rounded up 7,100 fugitives — including more than 120 in the Chicago-area — in a six-week nationwide sweep that focused on seven cities shown to have a high number of people wanted by the law.

Director Stacia Hylton joined law enforcement officials in Camden, New Jersey, on Thursday to announce the results of the effort called Operation Violence Reduction 7, which ran from March 2 through April 10.

The U.S. Marshals Great Lakes Regional Task Force headed the operation in Chicago, as well as other areas of Illinois, Wisconsin and Indiana, the agency said.

Roughly 477 felony fugitives were arrested in the Great Lakes Region, most from Illinois, the agency said. That includes fugitives accused of homicide, narcotics violations and weapons offenses.

Officials arrested 123 of them in the Chicago area, the marshals service said.

“We were able to arrest a lot of bad guys in a short amount of time because of the collaborative efforts between the U.S. Marshals Service and our task force partners from state and local law enforcement agencies, “ Chief Jason Grunwald, Task Force commander, said in a prepared statement.

“Without the cooperative effort of the participating agencies, this would have taken personnel from each department countless man hours to perform,” Grunwald said.

Investigators gave priority to cases involving gang members, sex offenders and people with three or more prior felony arrests, the marshals service said.

Besides Chicago, the operation took place in Atlanta; Baltimore; Camden, New Jersey; Fort Lauderdale, Florida; New Orleans; and Oakland, California.

A deputy marshal was killed in Louisiana while carrying out the roundup — the first on-duty death of a marshal in four years. Josie Wells was fatally wounded in a March 10 shootout with a suspect on the outskirts of Baton Rouge.

Hylton said the effort focused on finding the most dangerous fugitives in seven cities. She said the roundup included surrounding areas to make it more difficult for fugitives to flee.

She said those arrested included 519 people wanted for homicide and 583 for sexual assault.

She said 10 missing children were also located.

Contributing: Associated Press

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