KNOXVILLE (WATE) – More than 130 people were arrested in East Tennessee as part of a national initiative by the U.S. Marshal’s Office to arrest some of the country’s most violent offenders. The six-week operation dubbed Operation Violence Reduction resulted in more than 8,000 arrests nationwide.Related:Police: 3-month-old-dead of drug overdose, Oak Ridge mother arrested
The 136 people arrested in East Tennessee included fugitives, gang members, sex offenders and violent criminals. Among the arrests were Heather Keylon, an Oak Ridge woman indicted for the homicide of her three-month-old child; Dominique Cal, a known gang member wanted in Chattanooga for attempted murder; and Joshua Brown, a murder suspect from Florida who was arrested in a Johnson City parking lot.
The operation involving U.S. Marshals and dozens of officers from the various local agencies that make up the Smoky Mountains Fugitive Task Force also resulted in the confiscation of four guns and almost 800 grams of drugs ranging from cocaine and meth to marijuana and prescription pills.
“I am proud of our close working relationship with the U.S. Marshals Service and the work we do together to get dangerous criminals off the streets,” stated Knox County Sheriff Jimmy “J.J.” Jones.
“The success of this operation clearly demonstrates the importance of the U.S. Marshals Service and their partnership with East Tennessee law enforcement agencies,” stated Knoxville Police Department Chief David Rausch. “Through the Smoky Mountains Fugitive Task Force we continue to make a positive impact in the quality of life to the citizens we serve.”
While the initiative was nationwide, U.S. Marshals focused on 12 areas designated as priority cities by the U.S. Department of Justice: Baltimore, Maryland; Brooklyn, New York; Camden, New Jersey; Chicago, Illinois; Compton, California; Fresno, California; Gary, Indiana; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; New Orleans, Louisiana; Oakland, California; Savannah, Georgia; and Washington, D.C.
The operation focused on fugitives who had three or more prior felony arrests for crimes such as murder, attempted murder, robbery, aggravated assault, arson, abduction/kidnapping, weapon offenses, sexual assault, child molestation and narcotics.
The Smoky Mountains Fugitive Task Force is made up of officers from Knox County Sheriffs Office, Blount County Sheriffs Office, Cocke County Sheriffs Office, Hamilton County Sheriffs Office, Washington County Sheriffs Office, Sevier County Sheriffs Office, Jefferson County Sheriffs Office, East Ridge Police Department, Tennessee Department of Corrections, Chattanooga Police Department, Knoxville Police Department, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, 14th District Drug Task Force, Maynardville Police Department and United States Secret Service