Friday, June 10, 2011

U.S. Marshals and ATF Arrest 129 Gang Members and Fugitives in Tulsa

The U.S. Marshals Service, Tulsa Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives arrested 129 suspected gang members as part Operation Triple Beam II.
During the operation, 40 local and federal law enforcement officers from 11 agencies fanned out across the city and patrolled areas that had been designated as hot spots for gang and violent crime. They talked with people to gather information, documented gang tattoos and updated photographs and addresses of people they made contact with. There were 30 targets on the list including 14 street gangs, such as the Hoover Crips and the Hispanic Surenos.
The operation began on May 2 and ended two weeks later. Over the course of the operation, law enforcement officers served 12 search warrants, made 54 felony arrests, 74 misdemeanor arrests and seized 24 firearms.
Operation Triple Beam II was similar to an undercover operation last summer that is credited with a reduction in violent crime in Tulsa. However, after a recent increase in shootings in Tulsa, Police Chief Chuck Jordan approached Chad Hunt, deputy U.S. marshal for the Northern District of Oklahoma, to work together with the goal of investigating gangs, arresting fugitives and taking guns off the street.
"We've had close to 200 firearm assaults in the past several months, so we want to get guns off the streets," said Hunt. "This operation is styled to go after people carrying guns."
Jordan called it the perfect example of successful collaboration between federal and local law enforcement. "There is a reason this operation was a success," said Jordan. "It's because we target the right people. We are going after the violent offenders. We are going after the people we know are committing the crimes."
During the August 2010 operation, 163 gang members and associates were arrested. With the second sweep, over 300 gang members have been arrested in Tulsa over the past year. Additionally, 15 of the 129 gang members recently arrested are newly certified gang members.
During the second operation, robberies decreased by 24 percent, firearm assaults went down by 50 percent and burglaries declined by 12 percent. Firearm assaults were down 81 percent in the north side of the city and 63 percent in south Tulsa.
Tulsa is the first city in the nation to launch Operation Triple Beam.

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