The U.S. Marshals Service has concluded Operation North Star II (ONS II), a high-impact fugitive apprehension initiative aimed at combating violent crime in 10 cities with a significant number of homicides and shootings.
This 30-day initiative resulted in the arrest of 833 fugitives, violent criminals, sex 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 for the most serious, violent, and harmful offenses including homicide, forcible sexual assault, robbery, or aggravated assault. ONS II investigators prioritized their efforts to include individuals using firearms in their crimes, or who exhibited risk factors 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 work in partnership with community leaders and law enforcement professionals nationwide to protect our communities.”
“The U.S. Marshals Service remains steadfast in its commitment to assisting law enforcement and community leaders at all levels to combat violent crime,” said Director Ronald Davis of the U.S. Marshals Service. “The success of ONS II is based on its laser focus on the most significant drivers of violence. We are confident that apprehending these offenders will bring a level of justice to their victims and contribute to the overall violence reduction efforts in each city.”
Throughout the month of January, the U.S. Marshals Service used its broad arrest authority and network of task forces to arrest individuals wanted on charges including 95 for homicide and 68 for sexual assault. In addition, investigators seized 181 firearms, more than $229,000 in currency, and more than 160 kilograms of illegal narcotics.
Notable arrests included:
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 a deadly weapon.
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 weapon and for shooting at a police officer.
Gregory Kalvitz and Jessica Downing were arrested on Jan. 20 in Cleveland by members of the Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force. They were wanted in Henry County, Ohio, for interference of a custody warrant after taking an 8-year-old girl and fleeing.
Jermaine Westbrook was arrested on Jan. 26 in Parkersburg, West Virginia, by personnel 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 felony assault, murder, and parole violation.
Richard Nichols was arrested on Jan. 30 in Albion, Michigan, by members of the Detroit Fugitive Apprehension Team. Nichols was wanted by the Michigan State Police for assault with intent to 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, illegal manufacturing of weapons, and firing weapons.
Edwin Padilla-Lopez was arrested 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 the District of Puerto Rico for conspiracy to distribute controlled substances in the municipalities of Caguas, Cidra, and Aguas Buenas.
The concept behind interagency law enforcement operations such as ONS II evolved largely from regional and district task forces. Since the 1980s, the U.S. Marshals Service has combined their resources and expertise with local, state, and federal agencies to find and apprehend dangerous fugitives.
For more information, visit www.usmarshals.gov.