- The Washington Times - Sunday, August 29, 2010

The U.S. Marshals Service, working with state and local police in Oklahoma, has arrested more than 160 violent street-gang members in Tulsa in what federal authorities called a task force operation that will serve as a “nationwide model for similar initiatives” targeting gang-related violence across the country.

Dubbed “Operation Triple Beam,” the two-week law enforcement initiative involved more than 40 federal, state and local police officers who targeted the city’s most violent gang members and focused on removing guns and drugs from the streets.

“This operation is a great example of multiple law enforcement agencies working together to reduce violent crime,” said Acting U.S. Marshal Carroll Allbery in Oklahoma. “As a result of this initiative, many known violent gang members were taken off the street, and the proactive nature of this mission was paramount in stopping gang activity before it occurred.

“The amount of guns, drugs and other contraband that was seized highlights the operation’s compounded success,” he said. “The citizens of Tulsa are truly safer as the result of this operation thanks to the officers, deputies, and agents involved.”

During the two-week operation, officers seized 46 firearms, $15,000 in U.S. currency, 167 grams of crack cocaine and more than 2,000 grams of marijuana.

The Marshals Service is the federal government’s primary agency for conducting fugitive investigations and has a critical role in implementing the Justice Department’s violent-crime-reduction strategy. During fiscal 2009, more than 118,200 violent fugitives were arrested by the Marshals Service and its law enforcement partners.

Those arrested during Operation Triple Beam included Christopher “Quartertop” Price, a member of the Crips gang who was wanted for shooting with intent to kill and on federal charges of marijuana trafficking. He also has been named as a “person of interest” in several unsolved homicides and shootings over the last several years.

Others taken into custody included:

• Miguel “Spider” Lopez, who was wanted for the delivery of a controlled drug. He is considered the leader of the South Land Wicked gang, a splinter group of the Surenos gang.

• Marquis Craven, who was wanted for possession of a firearm by a felon. A member of the 4Duece gang, he had been released from federal prison just months earlier and is still on federal probation.

• Marquis “Pig” Smith, a Crips gang member wanted on two counts of shooting with intent to kill. During his arrest, he sought to flee from officers by running into a house, for which agents obtained a search warrant and confiscated five handguns, eight long guns, more than 2 pounds of marijuana, scales, $200 in counterfeit currency, and $99 in U.S. currency.

Mr. Allbery noted that the task force operation also resulted in the collection of information in the unsolved killing of Crips gang member Shawn Hatcher and that Tulsa police homicide detectives were able to issue first-degree murder warrants for Colin Profit and Kadrian Daniel, both of whom are affiliated with the Crips gang main rival, the 47 Green Team.

Within 72 hours of the warrants being issued, Mr. Allbery said Operation Triple Beam officers arrested both Mr. Profit and Mr. Daniels, who reportedly was found to be in possession of a loaded .357-caliber revolver at the time of his arrest.

Mr. Allbery said the operation employed what he called a “systematic and sustained approach” to reduce violent gang crime, illustrating the U.S. Marshals Service’s overarching gang enforcement strategy that aims to join anti-gang resources from federal, state and local partners, utilizing each agency’s expertise to remove violent gangs and gang members.

“Anyone who reads the newspaper or watches television news can tell you that there has been a significant absence of gang-related shootings and violence in the past two weeks,” said Tulsa Police Chief Jordan.

“This reduction can be directly attributed to the aggressive efforts of the agents, officers and deputies involved in Operation Triple Beam. This has been an outstanding example of how coordinated efforts between federal and local law enforcement can have a positive effect on our community,” he said.

T. Michael Earp, the Marshal Service’s assistant director for investigative operations, said Operation Triple Beam was “an example of the best the Marshals Service has to offer when it comes to fostering cooperation among our law enforcement partners in the fight against violent crime.”

He said it will “serve as a nationwide model for similar initiatives designed to tackle gang-related violence and take back our communities.”

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