Warrant round-up focuses on fugitives, gang and drug violations, and probation and parole compliance
Greenville, NC - A two-day initiative named “Operation Safe Summer,” which focused on offenders with outstanding warrants, gang and drug violations, and the compliance of high-risk offenders on probation and parole supervision, resulted in the arrest of 69 individuals, the service of more than 144 warrants, and 296 charges cleared.
Beginning in the early morning hours of Tuesday June 21, more than 100 law enforcement officers converged on the streets of Greenville in search of individuals wanted on outstanding warrants.
Officers and investigators from the United States Marshals Service; Greenville Police Department; North Carolina Probation and Parole; North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation (SBI), Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF); Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI); Pitt County Sheriff’s Office; North Carolina State Highway Patrol; Ayden Police Department, Winterville Police Department, East Carolina University Police Department, Rocky Mount Police Department, Kinston Police Department, Farmville Police Department, United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina and the Pitt County District Attorney’s Office combined their extensive resources in this enforcement operation.
“As the summer begins, it’s not uncommon to see an increase in criminal activity. School is out of session, vacations are in full swing and more people are out and about. This creates an environment for crimes of opportunity to occur. This operation was designed to remove repeat offenders, and those hiding in plain sight, from our neighborhoods. I would like to thank all of our local, state, and federal partners for helping make this operation a success. Your efforts have helped make a safer summer possible,” said Greenville Police Chief Mark Holtzman.
"It is always a plus for the community when we partner with other law enforcement agencies," Pitt County Sheriff Neil Elks said. "These combined efforts build enthusiasm and energy while sharing resources. This operation will have a direct impact on crime in Pitt County. Now that these warrants have been served, it reduces the risk of these suspects committing additional crimes."
Officers were divided into three focus groups: felony/drug offenses, pending misdemeanor warrants and probation/parole compliance. Felony/drug offense teams focused primarily on a list of offenders established during a three-month-long undercover operation by the Greenville Police Department Gang Unit. Probation officers conducted 69 searches of high-risk offenders that resulted in nine new probation violation charges. Additional teams worked to serve any pending misdemeanor warrants. During the operation, officers and ATF Special Agents confiscated four weapons. ATF agents are investigating all gun related crimes for possible federal prosecution.
"The U.S. Attorney's Office is proud to be a part of Operation Safe Summer. Federal, state, and local agencies have combined to make our streets safer by identifying the people that are violating their probation or parole by committing new crimes. These people need to be held accountable by the justice system. Meanwhile, we are also partnering with state and local agencies, along with non-governmental organizations, to assist released prisoners who want to become productive, law-abiding citizens,” said Acting United States Attorney John Stuart Bruce.
This operation has proven to be a success; however, the initiative continues as all violators were not apprehended and additional arrests are likely.
“These types of operations are vital to maintaining the safety of the very communities within which we live and work. The ability of local, state and federal law enforcement to work together in hunting down these fugitives, especially those with narcotic and weapon offenses, is vital to the peace and happiness of our communities. The outstanding teamwork over the last several days is a testament to the dedication and perseverance shown by law enforcement at all levels. The U.S. Marshals Service is proud to be a part of operations such as this and places a high priority on combating crime throughout the state of North Carolina, said Scott Parker, United States Marshal.
The Marshals have developed a system of partnering with state and local agencies in an effort to ensure that those violent offenders that attempt to evade the judicial system are brought back to face prosecution for their crimes.