For the fourth year, the U.S. Marshals Service teamed up this past week with state and local agencies, arresting 96 fugitives in Eastern Washington, U.S. Marshal Michael Kline announced today.
“This year we focused primarily on violent crimes and sex offenders,” Kline said at a news conference.
The marshal was joined by U.S. Attorney Jim McDevitt, Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich and Mike Curran, community corrections supervisor in Spokane with the state Department of Corrections.
In all, 25 to 30 state, local and federal officers worked together throughout Eastern Washington as part of this year’s fugitive roundup. A smaller permanent task force, involving Spokane County sheriff’s deputies and deputy U.S. marshals, works year-round on locating fugitives in Spokane and Eastern Washington.
The effort was part of a nationwide U.S. Marshals Service campaign called “Operation FALCON” – Federal and Local Cops Organized Nationally. Nationally, this year’s effort put 10,000 fugitives behind bars, Kline said.
Besides arresting 96 individuals on misdemeanor and felony warrants in the Spokane region, the task force seized two marijuana-growing operations, confiscated seven firearms and located four people who had failed to register as sex offenders, Kline said.
Knezovich said Spokane County has 40,000 outstanding warrants. “That 40,000 warrants is not 40,000 people,” the sheriff said. “Some people have as many as 10 and 12 warrants.”
People who know the whereabouts of wanted fugitives can call the U.S. Marshals Office in Spokane at (509) 353-2781.