Operation Justice: Hundreds of fugitives rounded up - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

Operation Justice: 273 fugitives rounded up

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PHOENIX (KSAZ) -

Law enforcement is cracking down on high-risk fugitives here in the valley.

Agents from the U.S. Marshals service and officers from all across the valley kept busy all last week by taking some of the most violent offenders off the streets.

Operation Justice is a week-long roundup of fugitives that started back in 2008.

The goal is to get career criminals and dangerous felons off the streets and also to get justice for crime victims.

The operation involved 28 law enforcement agencies from Maricopa and Pinal Counties, targeting more than a thousand fugitives, wanted for felony crimes, including robbery, rape, drugs and assault.

"Fugitives post a serious threat with our criminal justice system in that they continually finance their flight from the law through further criminal activities," said U.S. Marshal Davis Gonzales.

Some of those arrested in the operation include Ronald Clark, wanted in connection with a home invasion where he allegedly held a gun to the head of a 2-year-old child.  And James Lane, wanted on charges of rape, kidnapping and dangerous drugs.

"These officers work tirelessly tracking down these criminals to make sure they can be re-incarcerated or incarcerated for the first time, so they don't continue to perpetrate those crimes on our community," said Mesa Police Chief Frank Milstead.

Phoenix Police Assistant Chief Sandra Renteria added, "And as you know, we had a fallen officer about a month ago involved in a fugitive apprehension detail who goes out daily to apprehend fugitives -- just like we are doing in this roundup."

"It takes weeks and months of preparation to get to the point where we're going out and reaching these fugitives. They are so mobile, tracking those individuals, trying to locate them, can be very very difficult," said Gonzales.

In all, 273 fugitives were arrested during the operation, including 139 drug offenses, 23 sex offenses and 22 for aggravated assault.

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