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For Immediate Release

Contact:
December 05, 2011 Andrew Deserto, Assistant Chief Deputy
Northern District of Ohio (216) 551-6234
U.S. Marshals Announce New Ability to Receive Anonymous Tips

NOVFTF LogoCleveland, OH – U.S. Marshal Peter J. Elliott announces the launch of a new ability for the public to assist the U.S. Marshals Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force track down wanted fugitives. The Task Force is now able to receive anonymous tips from the public via text message or web tip. This was previously unavailable and tipsters were limited to calling in tips to the toll free hotline (866) 4WANTED. While that method is still available and very successful, tipsters will now also have the option to text in tips and continue to remain anonymous, if they so desire. The tipster and the tipster’s phone number remain anonymous to law enforcement unless the tipster chooses to identify themselves.

Tipsters are now able to send a tip to the Task Force by texting keyword “WANTED” and your tip to 847411 (tip411). Investigators will be able to view the tip and even send a text back to the tipster to ask follow up information. The tipster can then choose to continue the text conversation or discontinue and terminate the communication. Regular text fees will apply based on the tipsters service plan.
In addition to texting in a tip, tipsters can also submit a web tip. Tipsters can go to www.usmarshals.gov/district/oh-n/fugitives to view pictures of the Task Force’s most wanted “Dangerous Dozen”. On that page, is the ability to click a button which will redirect the user to the website to submit a web tip which works the same way as the text tip.

Cash rewards are available for information that leads to the arrest of a wanted fugitive and these rewards vary based on each case and situation.

The technology is available from a company called Citizen Observer which specializes in providing this service to law enforcement agencies. Their service guarantees that the tipster and the tipster’s phone number remain anonymous to the law enforcement agency unless the tipster chooses to identify themselves.

The U.S. Marshals Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force has had tremendous success since it first began in 2003. The Task Force arrested their 25,000th fugitive earlier this year and many of the arrests have been the direct result of tips from the public. The Task Force operates throughout the 40 northern most counties in the State of Ohio with full-time offices established in Cleveland, Akron, Youngstown, Toledo, Elyria and Mansfield.

U.S. Marshal Pete Elliott stated, “This new tool provides the public with yet another method of delivering valuable information to our Task Force to utilize when pursuing these wanted violent fugitives. We are optimistic that this will lead to many arrests as our tip phone line has thus far.”

Additional information about the U.S. Marshals Service can be found at http://www.usmarshals.gov.

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