Operation Sandstorm III results in 154 arrests of area fugitives

Juan Gutierrez
Thursday, June 6, 2013 - 11:20pm

Operation Sandstorm III by the Lone Star Fugitive Task Force, a multi-agency effort, resulted in the arrests of 154 federal and state fugitives along with the clearing of 169 warrants.

The operation had help from 14 different law enforcement agencies and 112 law enforcement officers targeting the most dangerous fugitives in the area.

"I'm very pleased with the types of fugitives we arrested on the streets of El Paso and what we consider to be the worst of the worst," said U.S. Marshal for the Western District of Texas Robert Almonte.

Out in the field, the operation started early in the morning Tuesday and Wednesday.

The agents using intelligence from various agencies knocked on doors of the last known addresses on record for each fugitive.

The combined 14 agencies spent countless hours leading up to the operation looking for the most dangerous criminals to target.

"We screen them and we basically say this one is worse than this one and it gets moved up," Almonte said.

The teams knocked on multiple doors and found nobody was inside at several addresses.

Those that were wrong addresses, agents verified identity through photo identification.

One of the teams arrested a fugitive found sleeping in his home who was wanted for a probation violation and was originally charged with arson.

Almonte said the operation would not have been successful without the multiple agencies involved and said they will continue hunting down fugitives.

"I know they run but they can't hide cause it's not a matter of if we're going to arrest you, it's a matter of when," Almonte said.

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