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Operation targeting violent criminals in Yakima County nets 69 arrests since mid-June

YAKIMA COUNTY, Wash. - A multi-agency effort targeting violent offenders in Yakima County netted 69 arrests in five weeks, the U.S. Marshals Service and Yakima Police Department announced Friday.

More than a dozen local, state and federal agencies joined together to initiate Operation Invictus in mid-June. Yakima Police Chief Matt Murray said the idea is to combine the resources, knowledge and expertise of various agencies to make communities safer by taking violent criminals off the streets. 

"In any society, there's a small percentage of people who are really causing the majority of the problems and policing, we know that if we focus on that, we can really make a difference in violent crime," said Murray. 

He said the operation will be in effect all summer long. 

Everyone arrested so far has been a fugitive with active warrants, and the vast majority -- if not all of them -- have a history of violent behavior, said Murray. 

U.S. Marshals say approximately 60% of those arrests involved gang members. Additionally, partnering agencies have seized a total of $7,200 cash, 2.69 pounds of drugs and eight guns.

"I think the results speak for themselves. It's fantastic," said Murray. 

The agencies involved are Yakima PD, Union Gap PD, Yakima County Sheriff's Office, Kennewick PD, Benton County Sheriff's Office, Yakima County Prosecutor's Office and the Yakama Nation Department of Public Safety. 

Federal partners include the FBI, the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, the U.S. Marshals Service, the Pacific Northwest Violent Offender Task Force and the U.S. Attorney’s Office. 

The Washington State Department of Corrections Community Response Unit, the Washington State Fusion Center, which supports public safety and homeland security missions of federal, state, local, and tribal agencies, and Maike and Associates, a research consulting firm, are also part of the team.

 

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