'Operation FALCON' Is Largest-Ever Fugitive Operation Conducted in Baltimore Area
BALTIMORE - The largest sweep of its kind ever conducted in Baltimore has resulted in hundreds of violent criminal arrests, Assistant Attorney General Alice S. Fisher of the Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein of the District of Maryland, and U.S. Marshal Johnny Hughes announced today.
A five-day law enforcement sweep called "Operation FALCON (Federal and Local Cops Organized Nationally)-Baltimore" targeted violent offenders and fugitives who had prior arrests or convictions for violent crimes and has resulted in 195 arrests in Baltimore City, Baltimore and Harford Counties, Md., and in New Jersey. From February 26 through March 2, 2007, more than 160 law enforcement officers from 28 federal, state and local law enforcement agencies worked side by side in teams throughout Baltimore apprehending fugitives.
Of the 195 fugitives apprehended in the operation, six were arrested on warrants for murder or attempted murder; 86 were arrested for robbery, assault, or other violent crimes; six were arrested for sex offenses; and more than 25 were arrested for narcotics offenses. Over 80% of the fugitives arrested were wanted for violent crimes or had prior convictions or arrests for violent crimes. As part of the arrests announced today, more than 323 cases have now been closed. In addition, Operation FALCON-Baltimore also resulted in at least 24 gang-related arrests and the arrests of four of Baltimore's Most Wanted fugitives.
"A significant number of dangerous criminals have been removed from the streets of Maryland because of the unified effort by federal, state, and local law enforcement during Operation FALCON-Baltimore," said Assistant Attorney General Fisher. "By targeting violent offenders, we have acted to address both the recent spike in violent crime in Baltimore as well as the perceived growth of gang related offenses in this community. Operation FALCON-Baltimore was responsible for the arrests of hundreds of offenders including gang members, sex offenders, narcotics traffickers and other violent criminals. This represents the latest example of the Attorney General's commitment to combating violent crime in America's major cities. But it most certainly is not the last."
"Together with our law enforcement partners we have taken another step to make Baltimore more safe by removing violent criminals from our streets," said U.S. Attorney Rosenstein. "Operation FALCON-Baltimore is just the latest example of the efforts of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies teaming together to reduce crime by removing and exiling criminals from our community. I am grateful to the Department of Justice and to our law enforcement partners for their invaluable assistance in planning and executing this remarkable roundup of dangerous fugitives."
Fugitives who have been arrested include the following:
-- Don Armstead, 31: Armstead was wanted on a warrant for attempted murder, assault, armed robbery, reckless endangerment, and malicious destruction of property. An Operation FALCON-Baltimore team located him hiding in the attic of a house and arrested him without incident.
-- Nicoma Nordine, 29: Nordine, a suspected gang member, was apprehended by an Operation FALCON-Baltimore team on a federal warrant for being a felon in possession of a firearm.
-- Corey Parker, 31: Parker was wanted on a warrant for attempted murder, assault, armed robbery, reckless endangerment, and malicious destruction of property. An Operation FALCON-Baltimore team apprehended him as he attempted to flee through the rear of the residence where he was found.
In addition, Operation FALCON-Baltimore also included an extensive operation to debrief arrestees to gather intelligence relating to gang activity and other violent crime in Baltimore. This intelligence-gathering function provided federal and local law enforcement officers with significant leads in ongoing violent crime and gang-related investigations. Operation FALCON-Baltimore teams assisted other law enforcement operations in particular areas of the city which have recently been plagued by incidents of violent crime.
"In just one week, we have made the streets of Baltimore safer and put dangerous felons on notice," said U.S. Marshals Service Director John Clark. "Our network of law enforcement is stronger and more organized than ever before. Nearly 200 fugitives, from gang members to sexual predators, found out the hard way what happens when we pool our resources and tackle a problem together."
In addition to the arrests made during the operation, 128 other warrants were cleared, mostly involving fugitives located in prisons in Maryland or other jurisdictions. A number of the arrested fugitives are being referred to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Maryland for federal prosecution.