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DOJ’s Operation North Star Captures Over 1500 Fugitives


U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland attends a news conference at the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C., on June 25, 2021. | Image by Ken Cedeno, REUTERS

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A month-long federal law enforcement operation resulted in the capture of 1,501 fugitives, suspected sex offenders, and gang members in 10 large U.S. cities, Attorney General Merrick Garland announced on Wednesday.

Operation North Star focused on Baltimore, Chicago, Houston, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Memphis, New Orleans, New York City, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C., ten cities “with a significant number of homicides and shootings.”

The U.S. Marshals Service led the operation, which set out to capture the most violent criminals with arrest warrants during June, prioritizing those who used firearms in their crimes. 

Of the 1,500 captured, many were “wanted for the most serious, violent and harmful offenses, including in particular homicide,” Garland said at a press briefing.

“I know how hard and dangerous this work is for the Marshals Service,” he added. “We are incredibly grateful for the efforts to take the most dangerous shooters off the street.”

Marshals used their “broad arrest authority and network of task forces” to arrest 230 people for homicide and 131 for sexual assault. In addition, investigators seized 166 firearms, more than $53,600 in currency, and more than 33 kilograms of illegal narcotics.

Notable arrests include Jose Galiano-Meza, 28, who was wanted for homicide out of Douglas County, Kansas, after an alleged hit-and-run that left a 10-year-old Kansas girl dead.

Rashaan Vereen, 34, was wanted for attempted homicide, aggravated assault, and firearms charges out of Philadelphia for his alleged role in a June 4 mass shooting that left three people dead and 11 injured.

Dionte Mitchell, 22, was wanted out of the New York-New Jersey area for allegedly shooting and killing two women following a dispute at a party. 

Jaden Baskerville, 21, was wanted out of New York for an alleged drive-by shooting that killed a 7-year-old girl. 

Prince Cunningham, 49, was wanted out of Aurora, Illinois, on two counts of first-degree murder relating to a cold case homicide from May 9, 2003.

The DOJ operation was a collaboration with state and local law enforcement and prioritized community engagement.

“We find this to be the most successful and swiftest way of bringing bad violence under control,” Garland said.

“The Justice Department will continue all this summer and as long as it takes to drive these numbers down,” he added.

New York City led the ten cities targeted by the operation with the highest number of fugitives arrested, with 339 violent criminals captured over June. Those captured in New York City included 41 wanted for homicide or attempted murder, 109 for robbery, 84 for aggravated assault, and 23 for sexual assault.

“If you commit a violent crime in our city, we will find you. We will arrest you. And we will build a case to prosecute you to the fullest extent of the law,” said NYPD Commissioner Keechant L. Sewell. “I want to thank the U.S. Marshals Service, the NYPD’s Fugitive Enforcement Division, and all of our law enforcement partners for this collective effort to bring some of New York City’s most violent criminals to justice.”

Authorities also arrested 164 individuals in New Orleans, 122 in Memphis, and 60 in Indianapolis.

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2 months ago

Makes one wonder if they’ll ever go looking to arrest illegal aliens. Not really, as those are their favorite lawbreakers and they get a free pass.

2 months ago

Look how great we are, captured 1501 but let another 15001 just walk in and go wherever they wanted to right after we gave them lots of money

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