New York State In-depth

Biden’s administration arrests more than 800 criminals

The U.S. Marshals Service has concluded Operation North Star II (ONS II) which was a high-impact initiative to apprehend fugitive criminals aimed at combating violent crime in 10 cities with a significant number of homicides and shootings.

The initiative lasted 30 days and led to the detention of 833 fugitives as well as violent criminals, sexual offenders and self-identified gang members in Albuquerque, New Mexico; Buffalo, New York; Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio; Detroit, Michigan; Jackson, Mississippi; Kansas City, Missouri; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Oakland, California; and Puerto Rico.

ONS II focused on fugitives wanted in connection with the most violent, serious and dangerous offenses, such as homicide or sexual assault forcibly or robbery or the aggravated assault. ONS II investigators prioritized their efforts to identify those who were using firearms in their crimes or who exhibited risks that were associated with violence.

“The results of this operation should make clear that the Justice Department and our partners across the country will stop at nothing to find and bring to justice those responsible for violent crime,” said Attorney General Merrick B. Garland. “The U.S. Marshals Service, and the entire Justice Department, will continue to collaborate with community officials and law enforcement personnel across the country to safeguard our communities.”

“The U.S. Marshals Service remains steadfast in its commitment to assist law enforcement and community leaders at all levels in battling violence,” said Director Ronald Davis of the U.S. Marshals Service. “The achievement of ONS II is based on its laser focus on the most significant causes of violence. We are confident that apprehending these criminals will bring a degree of justice to their victim and help in the overall violence reduction efforts in every city, and, hopefully, bring a sense of justice for the victims.”

Throughout the month of January in the United States, the U.S. Marshals Service used its broad arrest authority and task force network to arrest suspects wanted on charges, including 95 for homicide as well as 68 who were charged with sexual assault. Investigators also confiscated 181 firearms and more than $229,000 worth of currency as well as more than 160 kilograms worth of illegal drug use.

Notable arrests include:

Walter Abbott was arrested on Jan. 18 in Rio Rancho, New Mexico, by members of the Southwest Fugitive Task Force. Abbott was wanted in Sandoval County, New Mexico, for first-degree attempted homicide and aggravated burglary with an armed weapon that was deadly.

Paris Jackson was arrested on Jan. 31 in Buffalo, New York, by members of the New York/New Jersey Regional Fugitive Task Force. Jackson was wanted in Buffalo for second-degree criminal in possession of a firearm, and for shooting at an officer.

Gregory Kalvitz and Jessica Downing were arrested in January. 20 in Cleveland by members of the Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force. They were wanted by Henry County, Ohio, for interference of the custody warrant following the abduction of an 8-year-old girl and fled.

Jermaine Westbrook was arrested on January. 26 in Parkersburg, West Virginia, by a team from the U.S. Marshals Service Southern District of West Virginia, with assistance from members of the Southern Ohio Fugitive Apprehension Strike Team. Westbrook was wanted in Franklin County, Ohio, for murder, felony assault as well as parole violation.

Richard Nichols was arrested on Jan. 30 in Albion, Michigan, by members of the Detroit Fugitive Apprehension Team. Nichols was sought by the Michigan State Police for assault with the intent of murder.

Gerard Parker was arrested on Jan. 26 in Harrison County, Mississippi, by members of the Gulf Coast Regional Fugitive Task Force. Parker was wanted in New Orleans for third-degree sexual assault and parole violations.

Aaron Payne was arrested on Jan. 18 in Kansas City, Missouri, by members of the Missouri Violent Fugitive Task Force. Payne was wanted in Tarrant County, Texas, for felony assault strangulation.

Antonio Jenkins was arrested on Jan. 13 in West Allis, Wisconsin, by members of the Great Lakes Regional Fugitive Task Force. Jenkins was wanted in Milwaukee for numerous charges including first-degree reckless endangering safety, felon in possession of a firearm, battery, and sale/possess/use/transport of a machine gun.

Michael Nguyen was arrested on Jan. 11 in Oakland, California, by members of the Pacific Southwest Regional Fugitive Task Force. Nguyen was wanted in Oakland for possession of illegal weapons and weapons, manufacturing illegally, and for firing firearms.

Edwin Padilla-Lopez was detained on Feb. 3 in Carolina, Puerto Rico, by members of the Puerto Rico Violent Offender Task Force and Puerto Rico Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force. Padilla-Lopez was wanted in District of Puerto Rico for conspiracy to distribute controlled substances within the cities of Caguas, Cidra, and Aguas Buenas.

The idea that underlies interagency law enforcement operations like ONS II evolved largely from regional and district task forces. Since the 1980s, the U.S. Marshals Service has combined their capabilities and resources with local, state, and federal authorities to locate and capture dangerous fugitives.

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