Cleveland, OH - U.S. Marshal Pete Elliott announced today that the U.S. Marshals Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force (NOVFTF) has surpassed 50,000 arrests.
Tuesday afternoon, members of the NOVFTF Canton Division located and arrested Brannon Newell, 20. Newell marks the 50,000th arrest by the Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force over an 18-year period.
An investigation by the Canton Police Department brought charges of rape and gross sexual imposition against Newell, with a child victim under the age of six. Newell was indicted on April 28 through the Stark County Court. Members of the task force were able to locate Newell at a home in the 1600 block of Maple Ave. NE in Canton, where he was arrested without incident.
In June 2003, the NOVFTF was created in memory of Cleveland Police Patrolman Wayne Leon who was killed in the line of duty by a fugitive on the run. Since the inception, the task force has grown from one division in Cleveland to eight divisions across the northern half of Ohio. The teams consist of over 100 federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies with over 300 law enforcement officers working together to locate and apprehend the most violent fugitives in northern Ohio.
Over the past 18 years the NOVFTF has cleared over 73,000 warrants and arrested over 1,700 people for homicide, over 4,600 for crimes related to sexual offenses, over 7,700 for assaults, more than 4,200 for robbery, over 3,600 for weapons offenses and more than 14,200 for narcotics related crimes. Additionally, during this time, members of the task force seized over 2,200 firearms, more than 47,000 rounds of ammunition, nearly 900 kilograms of illegal narcotics and over $4.4 million in U.S. currency.
“Violent crime and its perpetrators will always be one of the evil parts of our society, but the partnership between these law enforcement agencies and the community will be what continues to combat that evil.” U.S. Marshal Pete Elliott added, “The success of this task force is due to the unparalleled working relationship that has been built over the years with the local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies and the incredible partnership into the communities we serve.”
In addition to the fugitive mission, the NOVFTF has created a new investigative unit which focuses solely on recovering missing and endangered children. This unit began in late 2020 with Operation Safety Net. Over approximately 5 weeks, 35 missing and endangered children, between the ages of 13 and 18, were recovered during the operation. A little more than 20% were tied to human trafficking cases and those cases were referred to the Human Trafficking Task Force in Cuyahoga County. Although the operation focused on missing and endangered children from the Cleveland area, children were located and recovered in Euclid, Akron, Mansfield, Columbus, Miami, Florida and other cities throughout Ohio. Since the completion of Operation Safety Net, a permanent division has been established in Northern Ohio to investigate and recover missing kids. The division will operate across the entire northern half of Ohio and work with every community to recover missing and endangered children.
Day and night, the Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force will continue to pursue the most violent fugitives who commit heinous crimes and think they can find solace hiding in our cities. The priority of the Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force will always be to keep members of our communities safe.
Photo courtesy of U.S. Marshals of Northern Ohio
(Copyright, iHeartMedia, 2021)
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