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By Steve Limtiaco

HAGATNA, Guam (Pacific Daily News, April 29) – Federal and Guam local authorities during the past week managed to track down and arrest 12 local fugitives and five federal fugitives as part of a nationwide sweep that coincided with "National Crime Victims' Rights Week."

The nationwide effort, called "Operation Falcon II," resulted in more than 9,000 arrests, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office, including 1,102 of people wanted in connection with sex crimes.

Most of those arrested on Guam are wanted in connection with possession and distribution of crystal methamphetamine, or "ice."

The local operation, which went on from April 17 to April 23, involved five Deputy U.S. Marshals, two Superior Court of Guam Marshals, a Customs and Quarantine officer and a corrections officer. Fugitives wanted in connection with local charges were handed over to the Superior Court of Guam, and federal fugitives are being detained in the federal detention facility in Hagåtña.

All of the federal fugitives were arrested on warrants issued this year, but some of the local fugitives have been on the loose since 1998, including two men wanted in connection with family violence.

Deputy U.S. Marshal John Curry yesterday said involvement of federal law enforcement is important in tracking down fugitives because those officials have more resources and a longer reach than the local authorities.

Finding the 17 fugitives here took a combination of research and legwork, including working with the Drug Enforcement Agency and the U.S. Secret Service, Curry said. In some cases, the fugitive had moved several times to different villages.

"On the federal level, we have all of the necessary databases that Guam may not have," he said, citing financial information and sexual predator registries. "We have all of that here, that we can tap into to find someone."

He said the U.S. Marshals Service is also able to track down people who commit crimes here and move to another country or to the mainland.

May 1, 2006

Pacific Daily News: www.guampdn.com

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