SAN ANTONIO -

The Lone Star Fugitive Task Force arrested 27 state felons in a one day operation, the Department of Justice announced Tuesday.

All of the arrests were made by 12 p.m. Tuesday as part of task force's Operation Kestrel, a fugitive round-up that targeted about 55 fugitives with outstanding felony warrants.

The operation was a collaboration of over 60 law enforcement officers from 25 various agencies that sought after fugitives residing in San Antonio, Castroville, Devine, Hondo, Lytle, Natalia, and Pearsall.

Authorities said Luciano Garcia, 27, a confirmed member of the Bandido motorcycle gang, was arrested at his residence in Hondo on a felony warrant for allegations involving possession with the intent to distribute a controlled substance. A loaded 9 millimeter handgun was found in the residence during the arrest, officials said. Garcia may also be charged on allegations for a felon being found in possession of a firearm.

Deanna Tapia, 19, was arrested at her residence in Hondo after a 2 hour standoff with task force officers, authorities said. She was arrested on a felony warrant for allegations involving delivery of a controlled substance. Three other subjects were taken into custody during the arrest. 2 handguns and approximately 1 gram of methamphetamines were found at the scene, authorities said. Tapia may also be charged on allegations for a felon being found in possession of a firearm and possession of a controlled substance, officials said

According to authorities, the following arrests were also made in the operation:

  • John Garcia, 24, confirmed member of the Tango Orejon gang; violation of probation; prior arrest includes assault with bodily injury
  • Darrel Hernandez, 21, indicted on allegations for assault with a deadly weapon; a handgun was seized at the scene
  • Joe Edward Oswalt, 24, confirmed member of the North Side Bloods gang; violation of probation; prior arrest includes burglary of a habitat
  • Sammy Joe Sanchez, 44, violation of probation; prior arrest includes possession of a controlled substance
  • Vinnie Tapia, 14, violation of probation; prior arrest includes possession of a controlled substance

Officials said the figures for “Operation Kestrel” are as follows:

  • 13 warrants cleared for violent offenses
  • 10 warrants cleared for drug offenses
  • 1 warrant cleared for other felony offense
  • 4 guns seized
  • 2 seizures of approximately 2 grams of methamphetamines

Robert Almonte, the United States Marshal for the Western District of Texas, said the operation was a success thank to the partnership of of local, county, state, and federal law enforcement agencies.

"I am truly proud of the men and women who worked tirelessly and with dedicated effort to locate and arrest these violent offenders," said Almonte. "The Lone Star Fugitive Task Force will continue to coordinate fugitive round-ups such as this to help keep our communities safe, put criminals behind bars, and remove illegal drugs and weapons from the streets.”  

Participating Agencies in “Operation Kestrel”:

  • Castroville Police Department
  • Del Rio Police Department
  • Devine Police Department
  • Hondo Police Department
  • LaCoste Police Department
  • Lytle Police Department
  • Natalia Police Department
  • New Braunfels Police Department
  • San Antonio Police Department
  • San Antonio Independent School District Police Department
  • Bexar County Sheriff’s Office
  • Comal County Sheriff’s Office
  • Medina County Sheriff’s Office
  • Uvalde County Sheriff’s Office
  • Medina County Constables Office
  • 38th Judicial District Probation Office
  • Bexar County Fire Marshals Office
  • Bexar County District Attorney’s Office
  • Medina County District Attorney’s Office
  • Texas Office of The Attorney General
  • Texas Department of Public Safety
  • Texas Department of Criminal Justice - Office of the Inspector General
  • Texas Rangers
  • U.S. Customs & Border Patrol
  • U.S. Marshals Service