The U.S. Marshals Service Eastern District of North Carolina announced more than 50 arrests were made in Operation Violence Reduction 7—a six-week U.S. Marshals-led enforcement initiative conducted to reduce violent crime.
Operation Violence Reduction 7 (VR7) resulted in the arrest of more than 50 fugitives, gang members, sex offenders and violent criminals in the Eastern District of North Carolina, including 11 people wanted in New Hanover County, according to Deputy U.S. Marshal Bryan Konig.
The criteria for cases adopted and investigated during Operation VR7 included fugitives wanted for murder, attempted murder, manslaughter, robbery, aggravated assault, arson, abduction or kidnapping, sexual assault and child molestation, Konig said.
Between March 2 and April 10, Operation VR7 resulted in 7,127 arrests nationwide, including 750 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. Ten missing children were found during the operation.
Additionally, VR7 investigators focused on apprehending fugitives with three or more prior felony arrests for violent crimes and wanted for narcotics, weapons offenses, assault and 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 fugitive task force networks.
The local operation was concentrated throughout the local district using real time, ground level intelligence on the Eastern District of North Carolina Violent Fugitive Task Force, which consists of four Deputy U.S. Marshals and 20 task force officers from the multiple state agencies including the Wilmington Police Department and the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office.
“The Eastern District of North Carolina Violent Fugitive Task Force and various local law enforcement partners across Eastern North Carolina worked in unison to ensure that the most violent criminals were apprehended and brought to justice during Operation VR7,” U.S. Marshal for the Eastern District of North Carolina Scott J. Parker said.
“By taking dangerous fugitives off the streets and seizing illegal narcotics and currency, we put an immediate end to their unlawful activities. This is significant, since many of these fugitives are repeat offenders,” Parker said.
The U.S. Marshals Services has been committed in supporting the criminal justice system with the apprehension of violent felony fugitives for more than 225 years, and is the leader in apprehending “the worst of the worst offenders,” Parker said.