Some 1,500 fugitives, sex offenders, and gang members were arrested in 10 large American cities as part of a federal operation against violent crime, the Justice Department announced Wednesday, The Washington Post reported.
The monthlong operation, called North Star and carried out by the U.S. Marshals Service, aimed to arrest the most violent offenders, particularly those who used firearms, and was concentrated in the cities with the highest rates of homicides and gun violence.
Attorney General Merrick Garland praised the operation as an important step in protecting residents in municipalities and ending "the plague of gun violence."
He added that those arrested were "the most significant drivers of violent crime. The Justice Department will continue this all summer and as long as it takes to drive these numbers down," according to ABC7NY.
Garland has tried to boost public confidence, shaken by an increase in gun violence, and the Justice Department is making additional efforts to target rising crime.
As part of that effort, Garland last year announced the creation of special task forces in some cities to crack down on gun trafficking, The Washington Post reported.
During Operation North Star, which began in June, 166 firearms were seized, as well as over $53,600 in currency and more than 33 kilograms of illegal narcotics.
The suspects arrested during the operation included those involved in in 230 homicides and 131 sexual assaults, officials said.
Director of the Marshals Service Ronald Davis said that the operation "was focused on areas where local law enforcement has seen a large number of homicides and shootings," adding that, "by partnering with our local and state partners, we are able to hone in on the most dangerous criminals who cause the most harm," ABC7NY reported.
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