Fugitive roundup nets 200+ in Eastern Pa.

June 24, 2008 3:35:17 PM PDT
Police are calling it Operation FALCON. More than 200 fugitives swept up off the streets of Eastern Pennsylvania in a week. Among them - murder suspects and sex offenders.Police are calling it Operation FALCON. More than 200 fugitives swept up off the streets of Eastern Pennsylvania in a week. Among them - murder suspects and sex offenders. The US Marshals Service calls Operation FALCON the largest and most successful fugitive apprehension effort in its history.

Federal Marshals and the FBI are carrying out Operation FALCON on the mean streets of Philadelphia, rounding up hundreds of violent crime suspects - all wanted on felony charges with open warrants.

"The impetus behind Operation FALCON is trying to dovetail with Mayor Nutter and (Commissioner) Ramsey's crime reduction strategy here in the city," explained John Patrignani of the US Marshals Service.

Over 7 days, the 14th through the 20th of June, Operation FALCON swooped all across the area locking up more than 200 fugitives, including 26 alleged sexual predators and dozens of accused drug dealers.

Patrignani says there have been, "227 individuals arrested. 266 warrants cleared."

This is the fourth year of Operation FALCON. The arrest teams consisted of federal, state and local officers from as far away as Berks and Lehigh Counties, through Philadelphia, down into Delaware County.

U.S. Attorney Patrick Meehan says, "There were 4 homicide suspects who were arrested. A number of serious narcotics suspects, and I believe as many as 15 firearms seized during this effort."

Patrignani told reporters, "An area to reduce violent crime is to find fugitive felons, folks who are out there with warrants already, and to bring them into custody and take them off the street."

With the prison overcrowding crisis in the city of Philadelphia, many of those arrested in Operation FALCON for less serious crimes are likely back out on the street already, free on bail.


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