Monday, December 23, 2013

U.S. Marshals and Sheriff’s Office Sweep Pensacola Streets;

Over 79 Arrested; Guns, Drugs, Counterfeit Money Seized

Pensacola, FL – In a joint effort, the U.S. Marshals Florida Regional Fugitive Task Force and the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office hit the streets of Escambia County the past week in the second phase of an earlier round-up initiated two weeks ago, capturing some of Escambia’s more elusive and violent fugitives. Deputy Marshals from Tallahassee, Panama City, Tampa and Pensacola worked with Sheriff’s deputies from the ECSO Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) Team and arrested 92 wanted felons in a street-level sweep dubbed as Operation Reindeer Games. The Task Force identified approximately 120 of Escambia’s more dangerous fugitives who were wanted on various charges including murder, attempted murder, sexual battery, assault, armed robbery, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, kidnapping, strangulation, possession of firearms and other weapon offenses as well as numerous narcotics violations. At the end of the week, the population of Escambia County Jail swelled as a result of the multi-agency fugitive round-up and others found themselves in local jails in Santa Rosa and Okaloosa Counties; as well as other parts of Florida and Alabama. Of the 92 criminals who went to jail, 12 fugitives surrendered to jails after learning they were being sought on warrants. Although the operation’s aim was to find fugitives, others were arrested on probable cause arrests of which several included harboring a fugitive or obstruction of justice when trying to conceal the fugitives’ locations. In just four days over 115 warrants were served, three firearms seized, over 1000 grams of various drugs and $240 in counterfeit bills were confiscated, a stolen car was recovered and three active meth labs were shutdown.

This sweep is the latest but not the last one as a part of Sheriff David Morgan’s objective to crackdown on violent offenders with the help of the Florida Regional Fugitive Task Force. The shared goal is to try and help make the people in the community feel safer. The sweep was by in large successful because of the assistance of Special Deputy Marshal Task Force Officers from Escambia, Bay, Leon, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa and Walton County Sheriff’s Offices, Panama City and Tallahassee Police Departments, Florida Department of Corrections and Special Agents from the ATF and FBI.

Some Highlighted cases from Operation Reindeer Games:

    Eddie McGee – Charged with 1st Degree Homicide. McGee was wanted out of Atlanta, GA and was believed to be hiding out in Pensacola. The US Marshals in Atlanta identified possible locations and asked the Florida Regional Fugitive Task Force for assistance. McGee was wanted in association with a homicide that took place June 14th, 2013, that occurred at Hidden Cove Circle, Gwinnett County, Norcross, Georgia. On that day, officers arrived on a scene of a reported shots fired call. Gwinnett Officers found the victim dead of a gunshot wound to the back of the head. Gwinnett Homicide investigators determined during their investigation that McGee was a suspect along with Norman Griffith who is also in custody relating to the murder. According to police reports they had arranged to purchase cocaine from the victim.

    Douglas White – Charged with Child Cruelty and Abuse. When Marshals and officers attempted to arrest White inside of a trailer, White then took a two-year old whom White stuffed in a plastic tub and covered with clothing and blankets to hide the child to keep it quiet. White then secreted himself in a larger plastic tub beside the child and covered himself under a blanket. White and the child were located and White was subsequently tased by FRFTF members as he attempted to avoid arrest. The child is also the victim of the original crime in which the child was admitted to an Emergency Room for stitches due to injuries reportedly inflicted by White. White also had an active child abuse case with Department of Children and Family services for an assault on a 5 year old child. White was charged additionally with Child Cruelty and Resisting Arrest.

    Jermaine Beasley – Charged with Attempted Homicide, Armed Robbery. Beasley is a suspect in a random street robbery and shooting that occurred at Gadsden and “Y” Streets in Pensacola on November 19 of this year.

    Latasha Griggs - Charged with Possession of Cocaine and Marijuana. Griggs arrest resulted in the seizure of 126 grams of cocaine and marijuana which also led to the arrest of Tequilla Stallworth who was arrested and charged with Grand Theft Auto, Possession of Counterfeit US Currency.

    Casey Blackmon – Charged with Aggravated Assault with Deadly Weapon and Felony Battery by Strangulation. Escambia County Sheriff’s reports state that Blackmon was involved in an argument with his reported girlfriend that resulted in him allegedly choking her, punching and smacking her in the face, then held her down kneeing her in the stomach (police report reflects that she stated she is pregnant and Blackmon was aware of that) and then attempted to tase her with some type of taser device.

    Keith Rogers – Charged with Armed Robbery with a Firearm and Aggravated Battery with a Firearm. Rogers was wanted in connection with a home invasion robber that took place on October 10th of this year at the Oakwood Terrace Apartment complex. According to victim and witness statements, Rogers and another man approached the victim and Rogers pistol whipped the man and then the two suspects dragged him into his apartment and robbed him before fleeing. Rogers has 6 prior firearm related arrests.

In Fiscal year 2013, US Deputy Marshals and their task forces arrested over 74,000 State and local fugitives combined, clearing almost 95,000 warrants from state and local jurisdictions. Of those violent fugitives arrested, over 4,000 were for homicide and over 5,000 of them were gang members.

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