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Feds, local police sweep Metro East, make 153 arrests on variety of crimes

After a final arrest last weekend, federal authorities have put the wraps on a month-long, large scale, multi-agency, law enforcement operation that snagged scores of people in Southern Illinois.

Led by the U.S. Marshals Service, Great Lakes Regional Fugitive Task Force, operating primarily throughout March of this year, the operation resulted in more than 150 arrests, including three individuals being charged with homicide in St. Clair County in connection with one of the firearms seized.

Multiple federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies worked countless hours concentrating their efforts on known gang members, wanted subjects, and other known violent offenders.

Operation Washout (OWO) is a United States Marshals initiative deployed to local areas to bring immediate relief from violent, gang related crime. The goal is to foster safer communities by investigating and arresting fugitives and members of criminal organizations responsible for committing violent crimes.

The detail yielded 153 arrests with 55 of those subjects being identified as gang members. Also seized were 62 firearms, $42,974 in U.S. Currency, two vehicles, and 26.9 kilograms of narcotics.

Enforcement operations were focused on Madison and St. Clair counties, in addition to the Centralia region.

“Federal law enforcement is at its best when coordinating our resources to focus on those who present the biggest threat to public safety,” said United States Attorney Steven D. Weinhoeft. “I credit the U.S. Marshals Service for their excellent work. They perform an incredibly valuable service to the community by searching for and apprehending the most violent offenders in the most dangerous areas.”

“This operation is a great example of our local, state, and federal law enforcement partners working together to have a significant impact on reducing violent crime in our communities,” said Jeremy Wyatt, Acting United States Marshal. “Thank you to all of the law enforcement officers that participated in this operation and put it on the line every day to ensure a safer community for everyone.”

Participating agencies included U.S. Marshals Service, Great Lakes Regional Fugitive Task Force,
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Springfield Field Office, Safe Streets Task Force, U.S. Department of Homeland Security Investigations, Illinois State Police, Illinois Department of Corrections – Parole, St. Clair County Drug Tactical Unit, St. Clair County Probation, Granite City Police Department, Alton Police Department, Belleville Police Department, Centralia Police Department, St. Clair, Madison, Jefferson, Effingham, Marion, and Clinton County Sheriff’s Departments.

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