Nationwide sweep nets 2,000 arrests in Georgia

Federal, local, state officers go after sex offenders, others.

"We're looking for the high-risk individuals," said U.S. Marshal Richard Mecum on Thursday.

Mecum's agency supervised the annual local, state and federal Operation FALCON —- Federal and Local Cops Organized —- in North Georgia in the month of June. "We asked them [state and local agencies] for their worst cases," he said.

Sex offenders were the primary targets.

Nationwide, 2,356 sex offenders were caught. In Georgia, 67 fugitives suspected in sex crimes were arrested and 24 convicted sex offenders were taken into custody because they had not registered with sheriffs.

The Marshals Service said 900 gang members were picked up nationwide, and 433 murder suspects were captured, including 23 in Georgia.

Most arrests in Georgia were in counties around the state's larger cities —- Atlanta, Macon and Savannah. But some were made in rural areas such as Polk, Gordon, Lamar, Pulaski and Emanuel Counties.

There were 1,927 arrests statewide. Of those, 1,195 arrests were made in the Atlanta area.

"Our mission is to take the most violent felony fugitives off the streets," said James Ergas, supervisory inspector of the Southeast Regional Fugitive Task Force.

Videos and photographs can be viewed at http://www.usmarshals.gov/falcon09/index/html

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