Federal And Local Officers Make Over 160 Arrests In June

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Operation FALCON made 169 arrests during the month of June.(Photo: Southern District of Ohio U.S. Marshals)
Operation FALCON made 169 arrests during the month of June.(Photo: Southern District of Ohio U.S. Marshals)

US Marshals partnered with state and local law enforcement agencies to make 169 arrests in Central Ohio during the month of June.

US Marshals led the June dragnet, dubbed Operation FALCON – short for Federal And Local Cops Organized Nationally. 23 law federal, state, and local enforcement agencies participated in this year’s Operation. Chief Deputy US Marshal Cathy Jones says this year’s Operation FALCON focused on sexual and violent crimes:

“Those types of cases, the reason there are warrants for them and the reason they’re outstanding is they’re hiding. And so it takes a lot of work for us. It takes our community to provide tips like they did through Crime Stoppers, and concerned citizens — the neighbors. We try to interview them. But oftentimes, they don’t want to cooperate with us because they’re in fear,” says Jones.

This year, Jones says Operation FALCON spent fewer days in Columbus proper – 4 days this year compared to 9 days last year. Instead, they spent more time in the surrounding counties. Jones says the spreading out the days and locations improved officer safety:

“When your officers are every day, getting up at 4 in the morning, hitting the streets by 6am, running until 8, 9, 10 o’clock at night, coming off the street, putting those warrants into our computer system, gearing up for the next day – you become tired. And we want our officers to be safe,” says Jones.

The focus on safety worked, says Gary Spartis of the US Attorney’s office:

“This operation was conducted without any serious injury or incident to either the fugitives or the officers involved,” says Spartis.

Chief Jones says some arrests are easier than others. She says the longest outstanding warrant served during June’s operation was 6 years old.

“We went to his last known address. He came out the front door, smoking a cigarette, and said, hey guys, what’s going on?’ We explained to him we had a warrant for his arrest. He said he didn’t know what it was for, and about ten minutes later, he said, Ohh it might have been that time that I pointed that shotgun at that guy.’ And we said, Yeah, that’s probably it,’” says Jones.

Among the captured fugitives was former state-of-Ohio employee Frank Bempong. Forty-two year-old Bempong is wanted by the country of Ghana for allegedly embezzling over 300-thousand dollars from the Ghana International School. Bempong was arrested in his state office and is awaiting extradition.