IMPERIAL VALLEY – A joint agency operation targeting high-risk, violent felons, seeking more than 102 criminals in Imperial County Wednesday netted 36 wanted fugitives in an arrest sweep.
On Wednesday, February 26, Operation Imperial Valley Heat, a joint task force of the US Marshal’s service that also enlisted Federal Bureau of Investigations, Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms Bureau, Drug Enforcement Administration, Department of Homeland Security, California Highway Patrol, Border Patrol, Imperial County Probation, Imperial County Sheriff’s Office, Brawley Police, El Centro Police, Imperial Police, and Calexico Police departments made multiple arrests.
Focusing on high-risk violent felons, the team worked to arrest some of the most dangerous criminals on the streets. These sweep included those wanted for sex crimes, gang affiliation, armed robbery, and homicide. “Many felons travel into the area on their way to Mexico, and high-risk felons are more likely to continue their criminal activity in the community,” said Deputy U.S. Marshal Keara Villareal.
Operation Imperial Valley Heat was no small feat. It took more than two months to coordinate the efforts and 86 law enforcement officers involved. The arrest sweep had the goal of making the Imperial Valley a safer place for citizens. While only about a third of the criminals sought were arrested, the team felt the operation was a success. Some of those who weren’t arrested had likely already fled the area. Villareal noted that wanted fugitives are challenging to locate as they are likely to move from place to place in order to avoid law enforcement.
According to the U.S Marshals office, the organization serves more warrants than all the federal agencies combined. They also arrest more than half of all federal fugitives. Citizens interested in the US Marshals top fugitives and major cases can visit www.usmarshals.gov for more information.
Imperial Valley Press: Operation Imperial Valley Heat nets 36 fugitives