Department of Justice Seal

Prepared Remarks of Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales
at the Falcon II Press Conference

Washington, D.C.
April 27, 2006

Good afternoon.

I am joined by the United States Marshals Service Director, John F. Clark.

About this time last year, the U.S. Marshals Service completed Operation FALCON, an overwhelmingly successful, intensive operation to arrest fugitives across the nation. Today, I am pleased to announce that the Marshals Service has just concluded Operation FALCON II. For the week beginning April 17, more than 9000 fugitives were arrested and more than 10,000 felony warrants were closed.

The Marshals Service, joined by many federal, state, and local partners, targeted the worst-of-the-worst fugitive felons in the country. Among those arrested were more than 1100 fugitives wanted for committing felony sex offenses or violent sexual assaults, or for failing to register as sex offenders.

A few examples from the arrests make clear how we are safer. The very first arrest made under FALCON II, for failure to register as a sex offender, put away Reginald Dozier, who had raped a child. A parole violator, Antoine Sallay, was discovered to have been responsible for two unsolved sexual assaults on children. Investigators arresting Joseph Hodgson, another sex offender who failed to register, seized his weapons and ammunition, including a Colt M4 assault rifle. It is important to remember that the charges against these individuals are allegations. They are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

The seven-day operation featured the work of Deputy U.S. Marshals, in cooperation with hundreds of federal, state, and local law enforcement partners in 27 states, primarily west of the Mississippi, and in the U.S. territories.

We picked up fugitives wanted pursuant to a federal, state, or local arrest warrant. These included violent offenders, drug dealers, and gang members. This is an important step in ensuring a culture where the law is respected, where the judicial process is observed, sentences are meaningful, and hard time is served.

In its very name, FALCON reflects cooperation that makes this kind of operation possible. FALCON stands for “Federal And Local Cops Organized Nationally.” The U.S. Marshals Service worked with the DEA and the ATF to have maximum effect on drug and weapons offenders and with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children for help in identifying sexual predators. The Department of Agriculture, Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the Department of Veterans Affairs, as well as several other federal agencies aided in the intensive, week-long operation.

Over 700 state and local law enforcement agencies and departments participated in FALCON II. Over 2100 officers were on the street each day. I want to thank all the law enforcement officers involved in this operation. Because of their work and dedication, thousands of fugitives will now receive the justice they tried to escape. Director Clark will now make a few remarks.

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