washingtonpost.com  > Print Edition > Nation and Politics
Page 2 of 2  < Back  

10,000 Fugitives Are Captured In Huge Dragnet

"A dragnet like this should not be done just once, but repeatedly, without warning, to send a message that there is a decent chance that you'll get caught eventually," Fox said.

From April 4 to Sunday, 10,340 fugitives were arrested and nearly 14,000 warrants were cleared as part of the operation, officials said. More than 3,000 federal agents and local police officers worked on the raids each day, and more than 900 separate agencies were involved.


Marty Carlson of the U.S. Attorney's Office announces Operation Falcon's outcome at a briefing in Harrisburg, Pa. (Carolyn Kaster -- AP)

_____Message Boards_____
Post Your Comments

The largest category of cases -- nearly 4,300 -- involved drug crimes, while 1,700 other suspects were arrested on assault charges, the government said.

Federal officials said Operation Falcon cost the Marshals Service about $900,000. In all of last year, the agency arrested about 36,000 fugitives on federal warrants and helped apprehend about 32,000 others in local cases.

In the District, marshals arrested 118 people wanted on charges including homicide and sexual assault. Twelve were arrested on robbery charges, 43 on drug-related charges, 20 on assault charges and five on sexual-assault charges, officials said. The fugitives also include a homicide suspect and a woman convicted of second-degree murder wanted for a parole violation.

In Northern Virginia, Operation Falcon made 58 fugitive arrests, including 15 for assault, 12 for narcotics violations, two for robbery and four for weapons violations.

There were 67 arrests in Maryland, according to Deputy U.S. Marshal Ricardo Guzman. Guzman said his agency generally goes after offenders of the most serious crimes but decided to widen its net for National Crime Victims' Rights Week.

"We generally try to focus our resources on the baddest of the bad. We're going after murderers, rapists, that kind of thing," Guzman said. "On the average day, we can't do every carjacker or person wanted on failure to pay child support."

But last week, he said, "we decided to get as many as we can. We put everybody on the street with a stack of warrants and said, 'Start knocking on doors.' "

George Walsh, U.S. marshal for the District of Columbia, said the number of arrests in the District was four times the weekly average of the region's fugitive task force. Walsh attributed the increase to $7,500 spent on overtime pay, which funded a temporary boost in staffing from seven to 22.

Staff writers Allison Klein and Del Quentin Wilber contributed to this report.


< Back  1 2

© 2005 The Washington Post Company