Operation Orange Crush
Operation Orange Crush put the squeeze on many criminals who are wanted on various violent felony charges including sexual offenders, gang members and arsonists. And if law enforcement gets its way, it won't just be a ten week focused effort to bring them to justice.
Law enforcement has been busy knocking on doors since July 7. Sheriff's deputies and police officers sworn in as U.S. Marshals have targeted violent crime fugitives who they say have been evading the law.
On Thursday, Marshals announced the results. One hundred and twenty people were arrested in a five county area including Alachua, Dixie, Gilchrist, Levy and Lafayette counties. Gilchrist County Sheriff David Turner says the operation helped his agency arrest a subject of interest in a homicide investigation.
"Operation orange crush was able to have the personnel, the manpower to sit and watch and capture him, surrounded the apartment complex and capture him," Gilchrist County Sheriff David Turner says.
Something Turner says wasn't available with his manpower after weeks of trying on their own. Orange Crush was funded with 1.4 million dollars in federal money to pay for officers overtime, equipment and travel expenses.
"It begins to lay the groundwork for a continually federally funded fugitive task force from congress that is gong to be stationed here in the state of Florida, that's going to do nothing but track fugitives of that nature," Turner says.
Turner says he's got 400 active warrants on individuals in and around Gilchrist County...and his officers already have a full caseload.
"I think it will make a big difference, we got quite a few outstanding warrants," Supervisory Deputy Marshal John Hamilton says.
There are already six permanent fugitive task forces in other parts of the country. Senate funding for a permanent task force here has made it out of the Appropriations Committee and is in front of the full Senate for consideration.
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