Operation FALCON Results in Hundreds of Arrests in Houston Area

HOUSTON , July 27 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The United States Marshals Service, working in conjunction with other federal, state, and local agencies, arrested 284 fugitives and cleared 328 criminal warrants during a fugitive apprehension initiative, Operation FALCON-Houston, conducted the week of July 15-22, 2007.

The United States Marshals Service Operation FALCON 2007 (Federal And Local Cops Organized Nationally) is a multi-city, nationwide fugitive apprehension effort which targets persons wanted for sexual offenses, violent crimes and narcotics violations. Of the 284 fugitives arrested in the Houston Metropolitan area, 38 were sex offenders, 10 were gang members, and 9 were wanted for homicide.

In addition, numerous other violent offenders were arrested. One of the targeted fugitives, Eric Rentie , was wanted in Tulsa , Oklahoma for murder and firearms violations after he allegedly shot and killed an eighteen-month old-child in June, 2005. Allegedly, Rentie, 37, approached a female as she stood next to her car, broke a car window, and began firing into the car. The rounds fired struck and killed the child who was in the car. Rentie surrendered the next day, but made bond and later fled. The FOX network program America's Most Wanted recently featured Rentie's profile. On July 17, 2007 , investigators working on Operation FALCON received information on Rentie's location and safely took him into custody at Interstate 45 and FM 1960. Rentie has been extradited to Oklahoma.

Another violent fugitive, Brandon Evans , 25, was arrested on July 18, 2007 . Evans was wanted in Harris County for aggravated assault on a family member. During the arrest, Evans barricaded himself in a bathroom and brandished knives at the arresting officers. Evans was taken into custody and additional charges have been filed against Evans for aggravated assault on a police officer. Evans is currently in Harris County Jail waiting further court proceedings.

One of those arrested with gang affiliations was Marquis Hughes , who is a member of the Black Disciples. Hughes, 20, was wanted for murder after he allegedly killed a sixteen-year-old during an apparent gang-related shooting. Hughes previously admitted to shooting the victim in self defense, although the investigation indicates that the shooting was in response to the killing of one of Hughes' associates. Investigators identified Hughes' location and safely took him into custody. Hughes is currently in Harris County Jail waiting further court proceedings.

Another gang member arrested was Quincy Punch . Punch, 23, is a member of the 5 Deuce Hoover Crip gang and was wanted in Harris County for homicide. Allegedly, Punch and an associate kidnapped a person during a carjacking, restrained him with duct tape and placed him in the trunk of the car. After driving around for several hours, Punch and his associate allegedly removed the victim from the trunk, shot him several times and doused him with lighter fluid. The victim was found alive three days later and taken to the hospital. The victim later succumbed to his injuries and died. On July 18 , investigators located Punch at 6240 Antoine and safely took him into custody. Punch is currently in Harris County Jail waiting further court proceedings.

One of the targeted fugitives wanted for a sex offense was Jimmie Elmore , Jr. Elmore, 37, was wanted in Harris County for sexual assault of a child. Elmore was arrested on July 18 in the 11800 block of Eastex Freeway. At the time of his arrest, he had been employed as a security guard. He is currently in Harris County Jail waiting further court proceedings.

"Since the first Operation FALCON two years ago, working with our law enforcement partners we have been able to remove from the streets of Houston a significant number of violent fugitives who would otherwise have continued to target innocent citizens," stated United States Marshal Ruben Monzon . "This eight day operation again illustrates what a combined federal, state and local effort can accomplish," added Marshal Monzon.

Operation FALCON-Houston consisted of over 20 federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies making up six separate arrest teams, and multiple divisions of local police departments. Agencies contributing to Operation FALCON-Houston included Harris County Sheriff's Office; Houston Police Department; Pasadena Police Department; Humble Police Department; Galveston County Sheriff's Office; Galveston County Constable Precinct 8; Galveston County Auto Crimes Task Force; Fort Bend County Sheriff's Office; Montgomery County Sheriff's Office; Brazoria County Sheriff's Office; League City Police Department; Texas City Police Department; Santa Fe Police Department; Texas Department of Criminal Justice-Office of Inspector General; Texas Department of Public Safety-Criminal Intelligence Service; Texas National Guard-Counter Drug Program; Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives; Immigration and Customs Enforcement; and Drug Enforcement Administration.

Since its inception in 2005, Operation FALCON has made over 30,000 arrests and cleared over 38,000 warrants. It continues to be the largest and most successful fugitive apprehension effort in U.S. Marshals history.

For more information about the U.S. Marshals Service, visit HYPERLINK "http://www.usmarshals.gov" http://www.usmarshals.gov.

SOURCE U.S. Department of Justice