Sunday, November 05, 2006

Fugitive Sweep in MS

Feds, local police teamed up in sweep
By J.R. WELSH
jrwelsh@sunherald.com
BILOXI - A team of law-enforcement officers from several agencies recently closed in on fugitives in three Mississippi counties, clearing 49 warrants and arresting 30 people.
The raids were part of Operation Falcon III, an undertaking by the U.S. Marshals Service. Suspects were arrested in Jackson, Harrison and Hancock counties on charges related to sex offenses, narcotics and violent crime.
The operation ran from Oct. 22 to 28, said Justin Vickers, a supervisory inspector with the Marshals Service. It included sheriff's deputies from all three counties as well as city police-department members from Waveland, Biloxi, Long Beach and Bay St. Louis.
Vickers said participating local officers were temporarily deputized in the Marshals Service. "This allowed them to operate outside their own jurisdictions," he said.
Of the 30 arrests, Vickers said, 50 percent took place in Jackson County. Forty percent and 10 percent occurred in Harrison and Hancock counties, respectively.
Most of those arrested were wanted on outstanding warrants, although two people in Jackson County were being sought under criminal indictments charging sex offenses with juveniles.
Among those arrested under outstanding warrants, a number had skipped out on bail after being arrested, Vickers said.
"A lot of the warrants were issued on failure to appear for aggravated assault, narcotics and other charges," he said.
Operation Falcon III took place last week throughout the eastern United States. In total, team members east of the Mississippi River arrested 10,773 accused felons. Those included 1,659 alleged sex offenders and 364 documented gang members, the Marshals Service said.

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