Phoenix, AZ - From July 12th - September 2nd, the U.S. Marshals Service in Arizona coordinated a targeted fugitive operation named “Operation Summer Burn.” This two month operation, focused in west Phoenix and central Chandler, concentrated efforts on areas with historically high gang activity in order to enhance public safety.
Operation Summer Burn used the existing USMS led Arizona WANTED Violent Offender Task Force with augmentation of resources from numerous law enforcement partners. Violent career criminals and gang members were targeted ensuring that critical resources were focused on the most impactful cases. The strategy was to use limited resources to focus on those individuals responsible for adversely impacting public safety.
Gang members were a priority target, to include identifying and documenting fugitives who self-identify or display the criteria of a gang member. This effort will assist law enforcement in preventing future crimes associated with a gang’s criminal enterprise.
This initiative resulted in the arrest of 195 fugitives in the Phoenix metropolitan area. Two were wanted for Homicide, 25 for Sex Offenses/Sexual Assault, 25 for Aggravated Assault, 85 for Dangerous Drug Offenses, 16 for Robbery, 17 for firearms related offenses and 22 additional arrests for other violent crimes. 48 were identified and documented as being a “member” or an “associate” to a criminal street gang. In total, 22 firearms were seized along with15.63 grams of Cocaine, 65.79 grams of Heroin, 686.44 grams of Marijuana, 14.07 grams of Methamphetamine and a total of $13,400 in cash.
"Operation Summer Burn 2016 was an enforcement initiative designed to target and reduce gang activity and violent crime in the heart of Phoenix,” said U.S. Marshal David Gonzales. “The arrest of 195 fugitives demonstrates the successful outcome of a focused effort to arrest violent offenders and reduce future crime victims. The arrests included 48 gang members and the removal of 22 firearms off our streets. Organized street gangs continue to be a major problem in our communities and the U.S. Marshals Service, working with our state and local partners, will continue to make them a high priority in our enforcement efforts.”
Operation Summer Burn was a collaborative effort with the Phoenix Police Department, Glendale Police Department, Chandler Police Department, Arizona Department of Public Safety, Maricopa County Adult Probation, Maricopa County Attorney’s Office, Arizona Department of Corrections and Surprise Police Department.
The United States Marshals Service is the nation’s oldest federal law enforcement agency. Annually, U.S. Marshals arrest more than 50 percent of all federal fugitives and serve more federal warrants than all other federal agencies combined.