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DEA Phoenix Participates in U.S. Marshals “Operation Justice V”

Over 112 drug related arrests

APRIL 21 (PHOENIX) – The U.S. Marshals Service (USMS) coordinated “OPERATION JUSTICE V” during the week of April 15, 2013, arresting and booking 231 individuals with outstanding felony warrants.  U.S. Marshals, state, local and federal partners collaborated to honor the victims of crime in Maricopa and Pinal County, in recognition of National Crime Victims’ Rights week.

Approximately half of the arrest warrants served during the operation were for drug-related offenses, and a great many of those were attributable to the possession, use, and sale of methamphetamine and other so-called “dangerous drugs.” Addicts, dealers, and producers of “dangerous drugs” commit multiple offenses as participants in the drug trade, including assaults, murders, theft, burglaries, and home invasions. By aggressively targeting “dangerous drug” fugitives, the USMS and its state, local, and federal partners increase community safety by a significant margin.

“The DEA is proud to have participated in “Operation Justice V”, said DEA Special Agent in Charge Doug Coleman.  “Together with our law enforcement partners we have taken another step to make our neighborhoods safer. DEA is committed to keeping violent criminals off the streets who think they can peddle their poisons on our streets without facing justice.”

Crime victims often have no advocate, and thus, no voice. Since 1981, the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office for Victims of Crime has observed an annual week of remembrance, its goal being to promote the rights of crime victims. Unfortunately, there are countless victims of crimes who never see justice because the perpetrator is never caught. Many of these offenders are known to law enforcement, but take active steps to evade detection and arrest, thus frustrating justice and never paying for their misdeeds. Thus, in 2008, the USMS in Arizona created “OPERATION JUSTICE” to bring together law enforcement agencies to target and arrest these individuals.

Significant arrests during “OPERATION JUSTICE V” include:

1.) Richard Jones, 33, a registered sex offender, was arrested for “Arson of an Occupied Structure,” “Threatening and Intimidating,” and, “Criminal Damage.” Officers tracked Jones to a Phoenix-area apartment complex, where he was found hiding out with associates.

2.) Kenneth Curtis Gibler, 66, was arrested for three (3) counts of “Sexual Assault on a Minor,” for allegedly engaging in inappropriate sexual contact with a 4-year-old child.
3.) Vincente Sanchez, 22, was wanted on a marijuana possession charge. Deputy U.S. Marshals and Task Force Officers tracked Sanchez to a residence in Tolleson, where he was found hiding in a closet. In Sanchez’s possession was a saleable quantity of marijuana.

U.S. Marshal David P. Gonzales stated, "We are always investigating, pursuing, and arresting fugitives. However, this week, my Deputy U.S. Marshals, in close cooperation with our state, local, and federal law enforcement partners, came together to locate and arrest hundreds of individuals wanted for serious felonies, and, in doing so, have brought closure to victims and enhanced community safety.” Marshal Gonzales continued, “This annual operation is in addition to the everyday efforts of Deputy U.S. Marshals and our law enforcement partners. Every year, 19 million Americans are directly impacted by crime. Many of these victims encounter a criminal justice system that at times falls short. The partnerships of state, local, and federal law enforcement agencies brought together under ‘Operation Justice V’ serve to bring closure to all victims of crime.”

Judge John Leonardo, United States Attorney for the District of Arizona said, “The apprehension of fugitives who are attempting to evade the consequences of their criminal actions is essential to the integrity of the criminal justice system.”

Chandler Police Chief Sherry Kiyler stated, “The Chandler Police Department is committed to our law enforcement partnerships, and ‘Operation Justice V’ serves as an exceptional example of collaborative efforts. Together we were able to make our communities safer with the removal of numerous dangerous criminals from our streets.”

Surprise Police Chief Michael Frazier said, "The coordinated efforts of the U. S. Marshals Service and local law enforcement during ‘Operation Justice V’ have once again made our collective communities safer. Felony suspects who were once free to roam about our communities and commit additional crimes are now in custody. This will aid the victims in receiving the justice they deserve.”

“OPERATION JUSTICE V” involved more than 150 law enforcement officers from 30 contributing agencies throughout Maricopa and Pinal Counties.

The USMS is the nation’s oldest federal law enforcement agency. In the District of Arizona, the USMS-led Arizona WANTED Task Force is a multi-agency fugitive apprehension initiative, focusing on pursuing and arresting the “worst of the worst” violent fugitives.

One such fugitive is Cameron Leezell Taylor, wanted for multiple offenses, including “Attempted First Degree Murder,” “Assisting a Criminal Street Syndicate,” “Aggravated Assault,” and, “Endangerment,” stemming from a 2009 drive-by shooting in South Phoenix. Anyone with information on Taylor is urged to contact USMS at 1-877-WANTED2, or text keyword “FUGITIVE” to 847411. A reward of up to $5,000 is available for information leading directly to Taylor’s arrest.

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