The U.S. Marshals Joint East Texas Fugitive Task Force (JETFTF) brought 813 felony fugitives to justice during 2020, bringing the arrest total to 20,305 since its inception back in 2004.
These arrests resulted in 1,204 felony warrants being cleared in 2020, adding to the total of 26,774 warrants closed since the JETFTF was formed. Many of the fugitives the JETFTF apprehends are wanted on more than one state and/or federal arrest warrant.
Included in the 2020 arrests are 47 homicide warrants, 70 armed or aggravated robberies, 182 sex crimes, 383 narcotics, and 4 kidnappings that JETFTF spearheaded investigative efforts on.
While serving these warrants, JETFTF members seized 66 illegally possessed firearms, over $600,000.00 and 459kg of various illegal narcotics. Sex offender investigators assigned to the JETFTF also contributed to local agencies involved in recovering six missing children in 2020.
In keeping with the critical partnerships formed with local law enforcement agencies, the JETFTF has assisted in organizing sex offender compliance checks in counties and cities throughout East Texas. These compliance checks help local agencies ensure that registered sex offenders residing within their respective jurisdictions are following all applicable state laws governing sex offender registration requirements. The members of the JETFTF provide valuable expertise in organizing these operations and a tremendous amount of manpower, acting as a force-multiplier for agencies that are often tasked with several other missions.
The Liberty County Sheriff’s Office was included in the list of agencies that participated in some of these arrests, prompting the sheriff’s office to issue its own statement.
“There are many facets of law enforcement of which the public is often unaware that functions on a day and night basis to help keep our streets free of the criminal elements that plague our communities on a 24/7 basis. One such organization is the U.S. Marshals Joint East Texas Fugitive Task Force of which the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office, along with many other east Texas law enforcement agencies, has been a part of for many years. The recent news release of that sponsoring agency shows just how many crimes, criminals, recovered property, illegal drugs and other have fallen under the watchful eye of this elite group of agencies,” the statement reads.
Liberty County Sheriff Bobby Rader recently said his organization felt privileged to have had former Deputy Zack Harkness as a working member of this Task Force and to represent Liberty County in many of these solved cases handled by this group effort. Harkness is now the newly elected Constable of Pct. 6 in Liberty County
“The public can rest assured that the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office will continue to be a major player within this organization and continue working to make the new year an even more productive year than before. This behind-the-scene and perhaps lesser known organization of law enforcement organizations composing this Task Force will continue quietly going along getting many violent offenders off our streets, recovering stolen property and removing illegal drugs from our various communities,” the LCSO statement concludes.
The Joint East Texas Fugitive Task Force is comprised of investigators from the following agencies: Anderson County Sheriff’s Office, Beaumont Police Department, Bowie County District Attorney’s Office, Carrollton Police Department, Center Police Department, Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office, Collin County District attorney’s office, Collin County Sheriff’s Office, Denton County Sheriff’s Office, Denton Police Department, Flower Mound Police Department, Grayson County District attorney’s Office, Hardin County Sheriff’s Office, Harrison County Fire Marshal office, Henderson County Sheriff’s Office, Henderson Police Department, Houston County Sheriff’s Office, Jasper County Sheriff’s Office, Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office, Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, Lamar County District Attorney’s Office, Liberty County Sheriff’s Office, Longview Police Department, Lufkin Police Department, Marshall Police Department, Mount Pleasant Police Department, Nacogdoches County Sheriff’s Office, Orange county Sheriff’s Office, Palestine Police Department, Panola County Sheriff’s Office, Pittsburg Police Department, Plano Police Department, Port Arthur Police Department, Rusk County Sheriff’s Office, San Augustine County Constable’s Office, San Augustine County Sheriff’s Office, Silsbee Police Department, Smith County Adult Probation Office, Smith County Sheriff’s Office, Texas Attorney General’s Office, Texas Department of Criminal Justice – Office of the Inspector General, Texas Department of Public Safety, Trinity County District Attorney’s Office, Tyler Police Department, Van Zandt County Sheriff’s Office, Winnsboro Police Department.
Additional information about the U.S. Marshals Service can be found at http://www.usmarshals.gov.