Ride Along With Operation FALCON

Thursday, July 9th 2009, 11:09 pm
By: News On 6

By Lori Fullbright, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- Operation FALCON takes 500 criminals off the streets of Green Country. The month-long crackdown is run by the U.S. Marshals but includes dozens of local police and sheriff's departments.

Fullbright, the only reporter who rode along with Operation FALCON on day one, met with officers at 6 a.m. Area law officers were deputized temporarily as U.S. marshals, which allowed them to cross into other jurisdictions to arrest homicide suspects, armed robbers and sexual predators.

"Team leaders, before you leave and go 10-8, be sure I've got these checked out lists," law enforcement officers were told.

So begins the largest fugitive apprehension effort in the history of the Marshals.

Officers and agents from two dozen local agencies are looking for some of the area's worst criminals.

"Good luck and y'all be safe."

They hit the road, some 800 warrants in hand, searching for murder suspects, gang members, sex offenders and fugitives wanted for weapons and drug charges. It all started with checking out addresses and knocking on doors.

Related Story 7/9/2009: Operation FALCON Nets 512 Arrests In Green Country

Those actions are usually followed by people being handcuffed - lots and lots of people.  The month-long crackdown ended with the arrests of 512 fugitives, including two dozen sex offenders, six homicide suspects, 38 gang members and 58 fugitives.

If someone had a warrant, felony or misdemeanor, these officers tracked them down.

Not everyone went easily.

Officers repeatedly had to call inside to an armed robbery suspect found at his grandparent's home in Rogers County. Weapons were drawn, the air was tense.

"Shannon Bradley, we have a warrant. Police, come to the door with hands up," called a Trooper.

Finally, after 20 minutes of hiding in the bathroom, the suspect finally came out.

"Lift your shirt, stop. Lift your shirt up, turn around, slowly, turn, turn, turn, stop. Keep your hands right there, do not move," instructed an officer.

Within moments, this cooperative local, state and federal effort had another suspect off the streets and headed to jail. They say that's why they do this massive sting, to make people safer in their own homes and neighborhoods.

Officers recovered some guns from the house, part of the 46 illegal weapons seized during the operation.

FALCON stands for Federal and Local Cops Organized Nationally, and across the country, more than 91,000 criminals have been captured with this program in the last four years.

Agencies contributing to Operation FALCON - U.S. Marshals Service, ATF, U.S. Secret Service, U.S. Postal Inspectors, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Tulsa Police Department, Broken Arrow Police Department, Sapulpa Police Department, Sand Springs Police Department, Jenks Police Department, Bixby Police Department, Glenpool Police Department, Claremore Police Department, Skiatook Police Department, Keifer Police Department, Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics, Oklahoma OID-DHS, Oklahoma Highway Patrol, Oklahoma Department of Corrections, Tulsa County Sheriff's Office, Rogers County Sheriff's Office, Rogers County D.A.'s Office, Creek County Sheriff's Office, and Mayes County Sheriff's Office.