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Phoenix's Leading Local News: Weather, Traffic, Sports and more | Phoenix, Arizona | 12NEWS.com

U.S. Marshals reportedly arrest 140 people in 'targeted enforcement initiative'

"Operation Snake Eyes" allegedly resulted in the arrest of 51 gang members and 3,027 counterfeit Fentanyl pills.
Credit: U.S. Marshals Service

PHOENIX — Marshals have allegedly arrested 140 people and seized 3,027 counterfeit Fentanyl pills in what they called "Operation Snake Eyes."

United States Marshals Service Arizona WANTED Violent Offender Task Force reportedly partnered with Phoenix Police Department and several other agencies in the "targeted enforcement initiative" to combat crime spikes during the pandemic.

The operation also allegedly resulted in the seizure of 131 firearms and $145,831 in cash. 51 of the 140 people arrested were gang members, according to authorities.

"The goal of Operation Snake Eyes was to focus on communities impacted by significant gang presence and target the most violent gang members and organizations to combat crime and violence associated with gang activity," a press release from the U.S. Marshals Service said.

The operation was reportedly the result of the service's decision in 2010 to target gangs as a priority for reducing violent crime. The operation focused on fugitive investigations; targeted firearm and drug investigations; and proactive street investigations and patrols, the service said.

"Investigations like these bring so many partners together to address common crime trends in each of our cities," Phoenix Police Department Chief Jerry Williams said. "Working with intelligence-driven information allow us to specifically target those individuals who are responsible for crimes which often result in violence.”

The Arizona WANTED Violent Offender Task Force is reportedly made up of 22 agencies, including federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies, to locate and arrest violent offenders and sexual predators. 

More information about the task force and the U.S. Marshals Service can be found on their website here.

September 22, 2020 - During the first three weeks of September, the U.S. Marshals Service's Capital Area Regional Fugitive Task Force, along with USMS personnel from Superior and District Courts, partnered with the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department and several other agencies to lead Operation Washout, a national initiative focused on the investigation and arrest of violent fugitives and gang members with active arrest warrants...