Task force rounds up elusive U.S., Caribbean drug dealers

TAMPA, Fla. - A four-month effort to round up fugitive drug-trafficking suspects netted 1,015 arrests and $1 million in seized property, federal authorities said Friday.

The effort, led by the Marshals Service with state and other federal agencies, targeted suspects considered some of the most elusive. Many were alleged high-level drug dealers from the United States and the Caribbean who had been indicted but never were arrested or who had jumped bail.

''They were lost for as long as they were because they are good at it,'' said U.S. Marshals Service Director John Marshall.

Among those captured were an alleged drug trafficker suspected in the deaths of two government informants; an alleged marijuana supplier accused of setting up an elaborate indoor farm and a man charged with using drug money to provide automatic weapons to Colombian dealers.

''These are not your low-level street dealers,'' said U.S. Attorney Donna Bucella. ''These are the distributors.''

Officials said the arrested fugitives now in custody are from Jamaica, the Dominican Republic and other parts of the Caribbean and several U.S. states.

The U.S. Marshals Services began the intensive searches four months ago after compiling a list of their most elusive fugitives.


On the Net:

U.S. Marshals Service: http://www.usdoj.gov/marshals/


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