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U.S. Marshals Service pulls off Operation: Long Island Wave, rounds up wanted fugitives

Wanted fugitives taken into custody after sweep across Long Island
Wanted fugitives taken into custody after sweep across Long Island 02:10

LONG ISLAND -- Scores of wanted fugitives are in custody following a sweep across Nassau and Suffolk counties.

For the first time in 15 years, the U.S. Marshals Service wrapped up a major effort to bring in Long Island's most dangerous wanted criminals.

As CBS2's Carolyn Gusoff reported Thursday, local law enforcement said it needed the help.

Rolling into neighborhoods is Operation: Long Island Wave, with law enforcement flooding crime hotspots over the last two weeks.

Led by the U.S. Marshals Service, 16 local agencies went after fugitives who failed to show up in court for as long as two years.

"Violent recidivist criminals and gang member and to do a surge of all of our state and local partners into the communities for a brief period of time to arrest as many of those people as possible," said Ed McMahon, commander of the U.S. Marshals Regional Task Force.

"People who have been convicted and accused of violent crimes -- murder, attempted murder, gun possession. It's sorely needed," Suffolk County District Attorney Ray Tierney said.

It was an operation that closed 200 cases and executed 116 arrests, of which 69 involved gang members.

"MS-13, Latin Kings, Bloods, Crips. It doesn't matter what gang you're part of. I'm part of this gang and this gang wins every single time, hands down," Nassau County Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder said.

The push to locate and arrest the most dangerous is needed, especially now, Tierney said, due to a spike in crime, and bail reform.

"We are absolutely inundated with warrants. It's a tremendous drain on resources," Tierney said.

U.S. Marshals spend months investigating whereabouts and then fan out often before dawn for the element of surprise. It's a dangerous job. The latest wave was called a major success because no one got hurt.

"They're getting the worst of the worst off the streets. People have committed themselves to a life of crime and certainly aren't going to stop," Suffolk County Undersheriff Kevin Catalano said.

With the word now out, police say there has already been a dip in crime.

"You take bad guys off the street, the problems go away. That's where they belong," Ryder said.

The accused fugitives, who are now under arrest, will likely be held without bail. Additional arrests are expected. 

EMERGENCY COMPONENT - LOCAL

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