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Exclusive: U.S. Marshals lead 'Rubber City Roundup' targeting violent fugitives

Akron fugitives targeted after spike in crime
Posted at 11:11 AM, Sep 23, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-23 18:35:23-04

AKRON, Ohio — The "Rubber City Roundup" operation conducted last week targeted violent fugitives in the Akron area. The U.S, Marshals' Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force, The Akron Police Department, The Summit County Sheriff’s Department and The Ohio Highway Patrol hit Akron area streets armed with warrants for some of the most dangerous fugitives who have eluded police.

The NOVFTF, along with its partners, arrested 63 people during the week-long operation.

Summit County Sheriff Steve Barry said, “We are proud of not only these arrests by the NOVFTF, but of the efforts they put forth every day to take violent people off the streets!”

Dozens of law enforcement officers from several agencies, armed with arrest warrants, spent five days on the hunt for those on the run.

“We’re going to find you,” said Deputy U.S. Marshal Anne Murphy.

The Rubber City Roundup operation is a response to a spike in violence over the summer in the Akron area.

“The goal of this warrant operation was to show a strong law enforcement presence and arrest as many violent fugitives as possible. Last week, all law enforcement agencies involved demonstrated commitment to keeping Akron a safe place by arresting over 60 fugitives,” said Akron Police Chief Kenneth Ball.

This isn’t the first time the U.S. Marshals have teamed up with other agencies to combat crime in an area.

“Does it work? Absolutely, I think it reduces crime,” said Pete Elliott, U.S. Marshal of the Northern District of Ohio.

This same kind of sweep happened earlier this month in the Canton area. Last summer in Cleveland, Operation CLE netted 379 felony arrests, 66 firearms, narcotics and more than $300,000.

“We saw a drastic reduction in crime. So, when we’re together on one team, people see us out there and we believe it has a reduction in crime,” Elliott said.

Only News 5 was there for the operation than ran from Monday September 16 through Friday September 20.

63 fugitives wanted for the following charges were arrested:

Sex Assault: 1

Failure to register: 2

Assault: 15

Burglary: 10

Narcotics: 19

Weapons: 5

Other: 11

Police also seized weapons, three rifles and two handguns.

“This is a good way to get these violent offenders off the street and to make the people of Akron feel safe,” said Deputy U.S. Marshal Josh Lowe.