Over 25 Fugitives Out of Fort Wayne, According to US Marshals

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WOWO): In regards to National Crime Victims’ Right’s Week, the U.S. Marshals Office sent this press release to the Fort Wayne Police Department, who then forwarded the information to WOWO News.


 

Via Press Release:


WASHINGTON – More than 25 fugitives, gang members, sex offenders and violent criminals are off the streets of the Fort Wayne area as a result of Operation Violence Reduction7 (VR7), a U.S. Marshals-led enforcement initiative conducted to reduce violent crime. These operations, which were conducted nationwide, were a part of a USMS initiative which resulted in more than 7,100 arrests.


Operation VR7 was not about increasing arrest numbers, but rather an effort to further protect communities by targeting the most dangerous felony fugitives,” said U.S. Marshals Service Director Stacia Hylton. “The approach was quality versus quantity and was strengthened by working with community leaders and local law enforcement to get the worst of the worst fugitives off the streets.”


The United States Marshals Great Lakes Regional Fugitive Task Force (GLRFTF) spearheaded the local operation. The GLRFTF is made up of task force teams throughout the entire state of Indiana, the entire state of Illinois, and the Eastern District of Wisconsin. In total, the GLRFT, throughout the entire region, was able to capture 477 felony fugitives during the operation.


Here in Indiana, concentrated efforts in the Fort Wayne area over a one week period resulted in the arrest of 25 felony fugitives, many who had multiple warrants.


The efforts in Fort Wayne accounted for over 46% of the total VR7 arrests made in Northwest Indiana. More than half of the warrants cleared during VR7 in Northwest Indiana over the six week period (March 2-April 10) occurred during the one week operation in Ft. Wayne.


The arrests made during this operation are a result of dedicated police officers and the exceptional working relationships shared between our agencies, “said U.S. Marshal Myron Sutton (Northern District of Indiana). “I am very pleased with the arrests that were made as I know this will have a direct positive impact on not only the Fort Wayne community but the entire state of Indiana.” ‎


three or more prior felony arrests for violent crimes and wanted for narcotics, weapons offenses, assault/battery and threats. Gang members and sex offenders received high-priority for apprehension.


During Operation VR7, the U.S. Marshals strategically focused its approach through use of the agency’s multi-jurisdictional investigative authority and its national access to fugitive task force networks. Teams throughout the State of Indiana were able to apprehend these violent felons using real time, ground level intelligence on criminal activity.


An example of the types of arrests that were made during this initiative include the capture of felony fugitive Melvin Catterson. Catterson was wanted on five counts of rape and five counts of sexual battery out of Logan County, Ohio. Catterson was arrested in Fort Wayne and was extradited back to Ohio to face his charges.


It is always a pleasure to work with the US Marshals Service,” said Sheriff David Gladieux, Allen County Sheriff’s Department. “Over the years we have used our combined resources and collective efforts to accomplish the common goal of a safer Allen County and this operation is another example of the effectiveness of inter-agency cooperation and efficient communication.”


Between March 2 and April 10, Operation VR7 resulted nationally in 7,127 arrests, including750 gang members, and the seizure of 383 firearms and more than 69 kilograms of illegal narcotics. Individual charges included 519 for homicide; 922 for weapons; 1,888 for assault; 583 for sexual assault; 1,093 for robbery; and 2,654 for narcotics. Additionally, 10 missing children were recovered.


It truly is one team, one fight, “said Chief Garry Hamilton, Fort Wayne Police Department. “This is an example of city, county, state and our federal law enforcement agencies all working together with only one agenda which is to make our community a safer community. If you are wanted, where ever you may be, know that our resources are far reaching and we will find you and we will arrest you.”


The GLRFTF was formed in 2003 with a focus of partnering with state and local agencies to target the most violent and dangerous fugitives throughout the Midwest. The GLRFTF has officers assigned from numerous state and local agencies throughout the region. Annually, the GLRFTF arrests thousands of individuals wanted for the most violent offenses.


For more information about Operation VR7, including photos and B-roll operational footage, visit www.usmarshals.gov.