All photos courtesy of U.S. Marshals Service.
A six-week nationwide search for the country’s most violent offenders by the U.S. Marshals Service resulted in the arrest of more than 8,000 fugitives, including a transgender woman wanted by the Long Beach Police Department (LBPD) for attempted murder, USMS officials announced Wednesday.
The arrests were part of the Marshals’ second annual Operation Violence Reduction12, which took place from Feb. 1 to March 11 this year and used its multi-jurisdictional investigative authorities and fugitive task force network to find fugitives with three or more prior felony arrests for crimes such as murder, attempted murder, robbery, aggravated assault, arson, abduction/kidnapping, weapon offenses, sexual assault and narcotics, USMS officials stated in a release.
“This operation allowed us to apprehend some of Los Angeles County’s most violent offenders,” stated David Singer, U.S. Marshall for the Central District of California. “VR12 is another reminder that crime will not go unchecked. We were successful because of the outstanding partnership between the U.S. Marshal Service, federal and local Los Angeles County law enforcement agencies.”
More than 177 fugitives, gang members, sex offenders and violent criminals were arrested in the Central District of California, which includes the counties of Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura, according to officials.
Kron Simmons was among those arrested in Los Angeles County. The 26-year-old transgender woman was arrested in Inglewood on February 25, 2016 by members of the Pacific Southwest Regional Fugitive Task Force.
She was wanted by the Long Beach Police Department (LBPD) for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and attempted murder, USMS officials stated.
“Simmons and her female companion got into a verbal altercation, which turned deadly when Simmons allegedly broke a nearby vase and shoved the jagged edge of glass into the victim’s neck,” the release stated.
The suspect fled the scene. The victim survived her injuries after receiving immediate life-saving surgery but became permanently disfigured and is still unable to speak, according to USMS officials.
During the operation, task force members conducted static surveillance operations in Compton, and Inglewood where Simmons was believed to be hiding and living with a friend.
At the time of her arrest, task force members observed her driving a car to a nearby strip mall, blocked her and ordered her from the vehicle, officials stated. Simmons was taken into custody without incident.
According to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Inmate Information Center, Simmons is being held at the Century Regional Detention Facility in Lynwood on $140,000 bail. Her next court date is set for April 22.
“By removing these violent offenders from the streets, the communities they preyed upon can immediately feel more secure,” said U.S. Marshals Service Deputy Director David Harlow in a statement. “Operation VR 12 was about using our expertise and law enforcement partnerships to significantly impact our communities by focusing on the worst of the worst violent criminals.”
While the operation was conducted nationwide in all 94 federal judicial districts, the Marshals focused especially on a dozen locations experiencing a spike in violent crime, including the California cities of Compton, Fresno and Oakland; Baltimore, Maryland; Brooklyn, New York; Camden, New Jersey; Chicago, Illinois; Gary, Indiana; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; New Orleans, Louisiana; Savannah, Georgia; and Washington, D.C.
The operation netted the following results:
- the arrest of 648 gang members and others wanted on charges including 559 for homicide
- the arrest of 946 individuals for sexual offenses
- the seizure of 463 firearms, $390,360 in currency and over 156 pounds of illegal narcotics
- the recovery of 17 children who had been abducted and reported missing
“Fugitives initiated gun battles, forced barricaded standoffs, assaulted officers and did everything they could to evade arrest—but our deputy marshals, together with their law enforcement partners, stood firm and succeeded in capturing the bad guys,” said Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates in a statement.