#minorsextrafficking | U.S. Marshals Service task forces serve as force multipliers in West Virginia | WV News


The U.S. Marshals Service in Southern and Northern West Virginia has had plenty of success in recent years chasing down fugitives

A big part of that: The help of local and state law enforcement partners, through special assignment to the state’s two Marshals Service-led task forces.

In the Southern District of West Virginia, the award-winning CUFFED Task Force recently has closed 15 homicide cases, recovered 13 missing children during operations to expose child sex trafficking, and served 630 felony warrants.

In Northern West Virginia, the Mountain State Fugitive Task Force has arrested over 9,000 individuals since its inception, including those charged with murder, attempted murder, weapons violations, narcotics crimes, kidnapping, sex crimes and robbery.

So pardon Southern West Virginia U.S. Marshal Michael Baylous and Northern West Virginia Acting U.S. Marshal Terry Moore for being more than a little proud of these units.

During a recent press conference during which it was announced CUFFED will receive a Distinguished Group Award from the director of the U.S. Marshals Service, Baylous shared some words for fugitives thinking about coming to the Southern District.

“You have two choices. You can either surrender to CUFFED Task Force now, or your second choice is to run and hide. No matter which choice you make, you will end up in jail. The only difference is that if you decide to run and hide, you’ll just go to jail, cold and hungry and completely worn out,” Baylous said.

Moore sees U.S. Marshals Service task forces as a great way to combine the efforts of federal, state and local law enforcement to arrest the most dangerous fugitives.

“The concept of the task force is simple: It provides additional resources for all involved agencies. For the USMS, it provides manpower assistance in the operating area. This manpower comes with a wealth of experience and knowledge of the area. State and local officers have a better opportunity to know the ins and outs of the area and can use this knowledge to assist in locating fugitives quickly and safely,” Moore said. “For the participating state and local agencies, the USMS not only aids in the local area but has its resources across the country available at a moment’s notice. This is especially important for those fugitives who attempt to elude capture by fleeing the jurisdiction where the alleged crime occurred.”

Baylous said the CUFFED Task Force is a “force multiplier.”

The Southern District of West Virginia is one of 94 federal districts. We are considered a small district. As a small district, we face many challenges when it comes to manpower and resources,” Baylous said. “We face the same challenges that most law enforcement agencies throughout West Virginia face. I truly believe that when we in law enforcement work together, we are so much more effective and efficient in combating crime and making West Virginia safer for all.”

The agencies that partner with CUFFED deal “with problematic issues within their jurisdiction on a daily basis. However, they see the value in making a commitment to the collaborative effort, which is the CUFFED Task Force,” Baylous said.

Baylous and Chief Deputy Marshal Anthony Santoro charged Supervisory Deputy Marshal Matt Ingram with revamping CUFFED about two years ago.

They told him “to be creative, to be imaginative, to look for different sources of funding. But above all, always keep three things in mind: Officer safety, efficiency and effectiveness.”

Moore added that the flexibility of the resources that comprise the task force is a key to the success of these groups all across the country.

“Arrests operations can be planned in advance or conducted at a moment’s notice. When conducting multi-person arrests, the operation is usually planned ahead of time due to the complexity of ensuring the location of the targets of the arrest are confirmed,” Moore said. “This allows the task force to create teams based on the targets location [or locations] and conduct multiple arrests at the same time. Other times, such as immediately after a murder has occurred, the task force is immediately called out to begin searching for the suspect. The ability for additional officers from outside of the jurisdiction to assist in the search leads to the suspect being located in a more efficient manner while maintaining officer safety.”

In Northern West Virginia, the Mountain State Fugitive Task Force recently arrested a man — Koby Lee Francis — accused of shooting a McKeesport, Pennsylvania, police officer last December.

Moore said it was a textbook example of the task force concept thriving through cooperation.

“A USMS task force from the Western District of Pennsylvania contacted the [Mountain State Fugitive Task Force] after receiving information Francis was in Clarksburg. From there, the [Mountain State Fugitive Task Force] positively identified the suspect’s location and utilized local resources to safely arrest him. This task force operation utilized almost every participating agency in the North Central West Virginia area,” Moore said.

St. Albans Police Chief Joe Crawford recalled a recent operation where the CUFFED Task Force hunted down a suspect in malicious wounding, grand larceny (auto) and reckless fleeing incidents.

“We were able to locate the suspect out in Tornado, West Virginia. So the Task Force went out there and was able to apprehend apprehend this individual. This individual is not not a choirboy. He’s not a stranger to the law enforcement community. Those are the type of people that we’re talking about,” Crawford said.

“We’re not talking about your low-level drug dealers or suspects, but it’s the worst of the worst. … I’m extremely proud, and this task force is so deserving of the privilege and honor that has been given to them. But that just goes to show you, you know in the Southern District of West Virginia, the old saying is you can run, but you can’t hide. I assure you when they get started, they get their teeth in, they’re not letting go until they get the person that they’re looking for. … That’s the type of work that they’re doing — you can see how important it is,” Crawford said.

Samuel “Sam” Cramblit is mayor of Ironton, Ohio. It’s police department is part of the CUFFED Task Force.

“The CUFFED Task Force does a tremendous job for us and our city police department, our court system, our parole system, the city as a whole and our region, allowing us to cross jurisdictional lines to take down bad people,” Cramblit said.

Moore said the Southern District’s CUFFED Task Force is deserving of its success and recognition through the Director’s Award.

“The award,” Moore added, “is a true testament of the success of the task force model, and should be recognized.”

Baylous cited Ingram’s leadership, “and the dedication and hard work of the deputy United States marshals assigned to enforcement.”

“Although six task forces will be honored during the award ceremony, CUFFED has the distinct honor of being the top-rated task force in the country. While we take a moment today to reflect upon our successes, I assure you that everyone here has a driving desire to press forward and to continue accomplishing our mission. … I’m also extremely proud of our brothers and sisters that comprise the CUFFED Task Force. You are making a difference, make no doubt about it,” Baylous said.

According to Deputy U.S. Marshal Mark Waggamon II, agencies that comprise the CUFFED Task Force are: U.S. Marshals, ICE, Department of Interior Fish and Wildlife, West Virginia State Police, West Virginia Division of Corrections, Cabell County Sheriff’s Office, Fayette County Sheriff’s Office, Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, Kanawha County Sheriff’s Office, Mason County Sheriff’s Office, Mercer County Sheriff’s Office, Mingo County Sheriff’s Office, Putnam County Sheriff’s Office, Raleigh County Sheriff’s Office, Roane County Sheriff’s Office, Wyoming County Sheriff’s Office, Barboursville Police Department, Beckley Police Department, Charleston Police Department, Ironton Police Department (Ohio), Princeton Police Department, Ravenswood Police Department and St. Albans Police Department.

According to Chief Deputy Moore, agencies that comprise the Mountain State Fugitive Task Force are: Berkeley Sheriff’s Office, Bridgeport Police, Brooke Sheriff’s Office, Charles Town Police, Clarksburg Police, Eastern Panhandle Drug & Violent Crimes Task Force, Fairmont Police, Greater Harrison Drug & Violent Crimes Task Force, Hagerstown (Maryland) Police, Harrison Sheriff’s Office, Jefferson Sheriff’s Office, Martinsburg Police, Mon Metro Drug Task Force, Monongalia Sheriff’s Office, Morgan Sheriff’s Office, Morgantown Police, Moundsville Police, Ohio County Sheriff’s Office, Shepherdstown Police, Sistersville Police, Steubenville (Ohio) Police, West Virginia Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation-Parole Services, West Virginia State Police, Wheeling Police.



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