Related video: US Marshal arrests in Cleveland during Operation North Star
CLEVELAND (WJW) — Cleveland and Columbus were among 10 locations across the country that were part of an operation that successfully ended with the arrests of more than 800 wanted fugitives.
Operation North Star II is the second phase of a high-impact fugitive apprehension initiative that focused on suspects wanted for the most serious and violent offenses including homicide, forcible sexual assault and aggravated assault, according to the Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force.
Officials say the following locations were also part of the operation since, too, they’ve seen a large increase in recent homicides and shootings: Albuquerque, New Mexico; Buffalo, New York; Detroit, Michigan; Jackson, Mississippi; Kansas City, Missouri; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Oakland, California and Puerto Rico.
Closer to home, the 30-day initiative resulted in the arrest of 145 fugitives and violent criminals in the Northern District of Ohio, the release says.
Investigators worked across the city of Cleveland where two suspects were arrested for taking an Ohio child; and even reached as far as southern California, where a Cleveland shooting suspect was arrested during the operation.
In Northern Ohio, 59 fugitives were arrested for assault, 20 for robbery, 17 for sex offenses, and 14 for homicide and a total of 188 warrants were closed due to those arrests.
The U.S. Marshals Service partnered with the Cleveland Division of Police, Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Department, Ohio Adult Parole Authority, Ohio State Highway Patrol, Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, and Crime Stoppers of Cuyahoga County.
Members of the NOVFTF and its partners also took time to engage with a number of high school students to hear about the impact of violent crime in their communities.
During Operation North Star, The Fugitive Safe Surrender hotline was opened to encourage anyone with active felony warrants in Cuyahoga County who want to make arrangements to peacefully surrender and deal with their outstanding warrant.
The hotline will remain open through February.
U.S. Marshal Pete Elliott stated, “Northern Ohio has built a strong partnership over the years with both area law enforcement agencies and members of the community. Working together on this operation to focus on apprehending the most dangerous fugitives in our area has helped to make Cleveland safer for the people who live and work here. We appreciate everyone’s dedicated efforts to make this operation a success.”
If you have information about a wanted fugitive, call the Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force at 1-866-4WANTED or submit a web tip.
Reward money is available, and tipsters may remain anonymous.