General Crime

* U.S. Marshals Operation FALCON Makes Over 35,000 Arrest 900 Gang Members,2,356 Sex Offenders 433 Murder Fugitives

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The U.S. Marshals Service has arrested more than 35,000 fugitives, including in the Bay Area, in a monthlong operation that involved cooperation by federal, state and local law enforcement agencies.Operation FALCON, which stands for Federal and Local Cops Organizing Nationally, arrested 35,190 fugitives nationwide between June 1 and June 30, according to Chief Deputy U.S. Marshal Tommy Thompson, who was the commander of the operation.In the Northern District of California, which includes the nine Bay Area counties along with Monterey, Santa Cruz, San Benito, Mendocino, Lake, Humboldt, and Del Norte counties, law enforcement agencies arrested 106 fugitives on 121 warrants, Thompson said. Law enforcement officials from 16 agencies in the district assisted in the arrest of eight sex offenders and a gang member, Thompson said. Six firearms, about $8,000 in cash, and more than 37 kilograms of narcotics were also seized.Nationwide, the operation led to the arrests of 433 people wanted for murder, as well as 900 gang members and 2,356 sex offenders.In order to provide participating agencies with broader authority, 5,007 federal, state and local law enforcement officers were sworn in as Special Duty U.S. Marshals prior to the start of the operation.Thompson said the 2009 operation was the largest by the U.S. Marshals Service since the beginning of Operation FALCON in 2005.Previous operations occurred over a single week in June; this year’s was the first to span the entire month, he said.Thompson said that in addition to getting criminals off the street, the operation helps facilitate cooperation between law enforcement agencies.”That’s the big benefit, because it’s harder for people to hide from us,” he said. “When someone flees from San Francisco to Tennessee, someone notifies the task force in Tennessee and we’re right on top of it, and these cases get worked.”

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