CLEVELAND — The Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force has now surpassed 50,000 arrests. U.S. Marshal Pete Elliott created the NOVFTF in June 2003. It was created in memory of Cleveland Police Officer Wayne Leon who was killed in the line of duty by a fugitive.
Since the inception, the task force has grown.
“Although we’re here in Cleveland, the task force operates all the way to the western and eastern borders of Ohio. All the way up to Lake Erie and down past Mansfield,” said Deputy U.S. Marshal Anne Murphy.
There are eight divisions across the northern half of Ohio. Teams consist of more than 100 federal, state and local law enforcement agencies with more than 300 law enforcement officers working together.
“We have teams in Toledo, Lorain, two in Cleveland, a part time team in Painesville, Akron, Canton, Mansfield and Youngstown,” Murphy said.
Over the past 18 years the NOVFTF has arrested over 1,700 people for homicide, over 4,600 for crimes related to sexual offenses, over 7,700 for assaults, more than 4,200 for robbery, over 3,600 for weapons offenses and more than 14,200 for narcotics related crimes.
Additionally, during that time, members of the task force seized over 2,200 firearms, more than 47,000 rounds of ammunition, nearly 900 kilograms of illegal narcotics and over $4.4 million in U.S. currency.
“Violent crime and its perpetrators will always be one of the evil parts of our society, but the partnership between these law enforcement agencies and the community will be what continues to combat that evil.” U.S. Marshal Pete Elliott said. “The success of this task force is due to the unparalleled working relationship that has been built over the years with the local, state and federal law enforcement agencies and the incredible partnership into the communities we serve.”
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