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1,000 fugitives arrested in 4-county sweep

July 9, 2009 |  1:19 pm

Federal and local law enforcement officials have arrested more than 1,000 fugitives on felony charges ranging from murder to being gang members, in a month-long operation across four Southern California counties, authorities said today.

Law enforcement authorities divided into six arrest teams swept across Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Riverside and Orange counties during the month of June to capture the individuals wanted on felony charges that included sexual predators and fugitives wanted for violent crimes.

The sweep was part of Operation FALCON (Federal and Local Cops Organized Nationally), which began in 2004. It operates nationwide.

Of the 1,005 fugitives captured, 31 were wanted for murder, 122 for sex offenses and 221 for being gang members. Agents also seized 74 weapons and cleared out 1,369 warrants, said the U.S. Marshals Service.

“The goal of Operation FALCON is simple – to make communities safer,” said John F. Clark, USMS director, in a statement. “Each time we wrap up a FALCON operation in any location, there are less dangerous individuals – and few threats to the community – than before we arrived there. That is very gratifying. “

-- Ruben Vives