Marshals arrest 249 Memphis fugitives in national operation

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WREG) — The U.S. Marshals Service said Wednesday that 249 Memphis fugitives wanted on crimes ranging from murder to sex charges have been arrested as part of a three-month operation across 20 cities.

Operation North Star III resulted in the closure of 288 Memphis warrants — 30 of those warrants were for murder or attempted murder, the office said.

An additional 23 were for sex offenses, 75 for assault, 32 for robbery, and 38 for weapons charges. A total of 24 firearms were seized, the marshals said.

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Tyreece Miller, United States Marshal for the western District of Tennessee, said fugitives known to have a history of violence were targeted.

“So we really wanted to get the worst of the worst off the streets because studies have shown that a lot of your violent crimes are from repeat offenders,” Miller said.

U.S. Marshals in Memphis were joined by 30 additional law enforcement officers from agencies including the Memphis Police Department and Shelby County Sheriff’s Office, who were sworn in as Special Deputy U.S. Marshals during a two-week surge from July 18-29.

“Where we deputize officers and give them law enforcement power and they had federal jurisdiction, so they are essentially an extension of the Marshal Service. So if I swear in an MPD officer or a sheriff’s deputy, he or she has federal law enforcement powers,” Miller said. “The thing about the Marshal Service is we’re not tasked with answering calls for service. We don’t do routine patrols. What we do is, we’ll go after bad guys, we’ll go after the fugitives and we won’t stop until we find them.”

Notable arrests include:

  • Rolvin Rodriguez was arrested July 21 for Aggravated Rape of a Child.

  • Christopher Smith was arrested August 16 for First Degree Murder for the June 20 shooting death of a 3-year-old child that occurred in the 3400 block of West Winchester Place.

  • Justin Blue was arrested August 19 on a wide variety of charges, including Murder and four counts of Aggravated Assault for a shooting that occurred on June 13th on Lawnview Street.

The U.S. Marshals Service says beyond partnering with other law enforcement to take someone into custody, they are always looking for tips from the public as well.

Nationwide, the operation resulted in the clearance of 2,818 violent warrants.

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