Over 1,100 Sexual Predators Arrested During U.S. Marshals "Operation Falcon II"
Las Vegas, Nev. – More than 9,000 fugitives, including 1,102 fugitives wanted for committing felony sex offenses, violent sexual assaults, and failure to register as sex offenders, were arrested during Operation FALCON II, which took place from April 17 to April 23, U.S. Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales and Marshals Service Director John F. Clark announced today. More than 100 fugitives were arrested in Southern Nevada, announced United States Attorney for the District of Nevada, Daniel G. Bogden and United States Marshal Fidencio Rivera.
"Operation FALCON II exceeded our expectations with the removal of more than 100 fugitives from the communities of Southern Nevada, many of whom were sexual predators" said U.S. Attorney Bogden. "I commend the law enforcement officers who worked together in this show of force."
United States Marshal Fidencio Rivera stated, "This sends a message to those that would victimize the innocent and our most precious commodity, our children. You are a priority! This concentrated effort by law enforcement was for the victims and family members victimized by sexual predators. There can be no closure to victims and their families until the criminal is captured and prosecuted."
Nationally, Deputy U.S. Marshals and their law enforcement partners arrested a total of 9,037 fugitives, and cleared more than 10,419 felony warrants during the seven-day operation. Task force members arrested 462 fugitives wanted for a variety of violent sex offenses, 311 fugitives for other felony sex crimes, 783 unregistered sex offenders, 73 homicide arrests with 87 warrants cleared, and 163 documented gang members. They also cleared 2,941 drug cases, and seized 111 guns, more than $120,265 in cash, and more than 91 kilograms of narcotics.
In Southern Nevada, out of the more than 100 fugitives arrested, 35 were wanted for violent sexual offenses, including rape, forcible sodomy, sexual assault, and for failure to register as sex offenders. Deputy Marshals and local task force officers also arrested 2 individuals wanted for homicide, 39 wanted on narcotics charges, 13 wanted on assault charges, and 7 wanted on weapons charges.
One such fugitive is Carlos Bermudez, age 30, who allegedly committed numerous sexual assaults on a young boy in Las Vegas between approximately 2001 and 2004. The boy was only 9 when the assaults began. The Clark County District Attorney's Office filed charges against Bermudez for 10 counts of lewdness with a child under 14 and 10 counts of sexual assault on a victim under 14, but Bermudez fled Las Vegas. U.S. Marshals and FALCON II Task Force Officers in Las Vegas developed leads that traced Bermudez to Houston, Texas, and last Friday, he was apprehended in Houston, without incident. Currently, efforts are underway to extradite him to Las Vegas to face the charges.
Local and federal agencies participating in Operation FALCON II included the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, City of Las Vegas Detention and Enforcement, Drug Enforcement Administration, Henderson Police Department, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, Nye County Sheriff's Office, North Las Vegas Police Department, Nevada Department of Corrections, Nevada Department of Justice (Office of Investigations), Nevada Department of Public Safety, United States Attorney's Office, United States Housing and Urban Development Office of Inspector General, United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement, United States Marshals Service, and United States Secret Service.
Like last year, Operation FALCON II coincided with the Department of Justice's "National Crime Victims' Rights Week." In announcing the results of the fugitive initiative, U.S. Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales praised the efforts of both the Marshals Service and the hundreds of participating agencies, noting that "the significance of holding it during this week was that it allows the victims and their families to find some element of closure. Just as we recognize the survivors for their courage, we applaud all of the law enforcement officers for their dedication."
Fugitives whose cases were adopted by Operation FALCON II were wanted by the Marshals Service, other federal agencies, United States Attorneys, and courts at every level of government. Because the highest priority was given to sexual predators and unregistered convicted sex offenders, the USMS entered into a partnership with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, which provided high-profile cases and facilitated contacts with state agencies that maintain sex offender registries. The USMS also worked closely with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) to ensure maximum support for cases involving narcotics and weapons.
The Marshals Service Office of Public Affairs has photos of actual arrests during Operation FALCON II available to press at http://www.usmarshals.gov/falcon2, as well as fact sheets on arrests nationwide and in each of the agency's participating. A ten-minute B-roll video package for broadcasters will be available for satellite distribution on April 27 at 2:30–2:45 P.M. EDT at C-Band coordinate IA 6 T-17 Downlink Frequency 4040 V 93 degrees WL; 6:30–6:45 P.M. EDT; 10:00–10:15 P.M. EDT at C-Band coordinate IA 6 T-16 Downlink Frequency 4020 H 93 degrees WL.