Approximately 100 people were arrested in Newton County last week as part of the fifth annual state-wide sweep, led by the U.S. Marshals Service and local law enforcement agencies, for people wanted for felonies and outstanding warrants.
Dubbed Operation FALCON (Federal and Local Cops Organized Nationally), the effort netted a total of 1,250 people and cleared 1,470 warrants in Georgia as part of a national campaign to arrest fugitives with major felonies, outstanding warrants and sex offenders, according to the USMS Southeast Regional Fugitive Task Force office.
Throughout the state, more than 400 officers and investigators from more than 115 law enforcement agencies participated in the week-long sweep.
From Newton County, more than 10 officers and deputies from the Newton County Sheriff's Office and Covington Police Department as well as the Porterdale Police Department and Oxford Police Department were part of a larger team operating in the Northern Georgia zone comprised of law enforcement personnel from Newton, Rockdale, Gwinnett and DeKalb counties, according to NCSO Capt. Marty Roberts.
This year's team came in first throughout the state in the number of arrests Sgt. David Jones said, who oversees the NCSO warrant division and coordinated the Newton County effort. The last time Newton County participated was in 2006.
"It was a real good week," said Jones, adding that the team was able to bust two drug houses they happened upon while serving the warrants. They seized eight guns, $3,000 and several quantities of drugs.
One of the drug houses had been running for several years, he said. "I don't know how nobody found out about this house, but we were able to shut it down."
Jones was also proud of the fact that there were no injuries to law enforcement, perpetrators or civilians during the effort and no damage to property.
Among the perpetrators arrested in Newton County were people delinquent on several thousands of dollars in child support, sex offenders who had moved and not registered their locations and domestic violence cases Roberts said.
The effort allowed the warrant division to catch up on a tremendous amount of backlog, according to Jones.
"We only have two people assigned to the warrant division right now," Roberts said. "To lock up 102 people, it would have taken a couple months."
For more information, visit www.usmarshals.gov/district/ga-n/index.html.