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.
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.
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.
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.
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.