BEHIND THE SCENES: How the US Marshals prepare for a roundup
Multi-agency task force targets fugitives in 'Operation Violence Reduction'
SAN ANTONIO – A nationwide effort to put suspected violent fugitives behind bars had more than a few area wanted persons on the list.
Operation Violence Reduction, an effort organized by the US Marshals Service, targeted felons across the country. In the San Antonio area, the Lone Star Fugitive Task Force (which consists of the US Marshals; police officers from San Antonio, New Braunfels, San Antonio Independent School District; deputies from Bexar County, Comal County; Bexar County Fire Marshal's Office; Bexar 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; Immigration & Customs Enforcement - Office of Detention & Removal), had its own list of fugitives to find.
"These individuals have active warrants related to murder, attempted murder, manslaughter, assault causing bodily injury, things of that nature," said Deputy US Marshal Chris Bozeman.
By the end of the six-week operation, 46 fugitives were arrested. Among them:
- Confirmed members of the Tango Orejon and Texas Mexican Mafia gangs;
- Six arrests for homicide;
- Four arrests for weapons;
- One arrest for aggravated assault;
- Three arrests for assault;
- 13 arrests for sexual assault;
- Three arrests for robbery;
- Seven arrests for narcotics;
- 2 arrests for kidnapping.
KSAT-12 was on hand for some of the early preparation, which involved task force members learning about one target: David Rocha.
He's wanted for credit card fraud. While it is not a violent crime, the charge stems from the October 2015 murder of 75-year-old Paula Boyd. Rocha has been wanted since November. San Antonio police have said Boyd's credit cards were stolen during her murder and used after her death.
"The Lone Star Fugitive Task Force receives requests from other law enforcement agencies in order to assist in locating individuals that they may have difficulty trying to find," said Bozeman. "Once we receive a warrant for that person’s arrest, then we will go about locating that individual no matter where they are – whether here in San Antonio, in the State of Texas, in the United States or even international."
The task force arrested two other suspects in the case. R.C. Curtis has been charged with capital murder. Frank Hernandez was arrested for credit card abuse.
Earlier this month, the effort to find Rocha included two teams prepared to go to a home where he has ties. One team would approach the front of the home, the other would go to the back. They looked at a photo of the home, then saw where it was located on a map.
"We have to utilize our multiple databases," said Bozeman. "We also have to do multiple interviews and getting in contact with different witnesses, but the bottom line is we want to make sure that everyone on our team knows exactly who we’re looking for. We want them to know the dangers that this person may pose."
That includes sharing the criminal history of the wanted person and any other information the team may need to make sure they arrest the correct person.
"It’s not a matter of if we’re going to catch them, it’s only a matter of when. A warrant doesn’t go away -- not until that person is actually arrested," said Bozeman.
If you have any information on Rocha's whereabouts, call the Lone Star Fugitive Task Force at 210-657-8500.
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