Violent crime initiative 'Operation North Star' leads to arrest of 152 fugitives in Houston area

Jessica Willey Image
Wednesday, July 6, 2022
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The arrests also yielded 12 firearms, two kilograms of drugs, and $17,000 in cash, according to authorities.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The U.S. Marshals Service announced the results of a monthlong initiative focused on arresting violent fugitives.

Operation North Star resulted in the arrests of 152 fugitives in the Houston area charged with homicide, sex assault, robbery, and drug cases. The arrests also yielded 12 firearms, two kilograms of drugs, and $17,000 in cash, a press release said.

Houston was one of 10 cities chosen by the Department of Justice for the overtime program.

Baltimore, Chicago, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Memphis, New Orleans, New York City, Philadelphia, and Washington D.C. were the others.

There were more than 1500 arrests nationwide.

The U.S. Marshals Service worked with local, state, and federal agencies using money for overtime during the month of June to focus on finding and arresting people wanted for the most serious offenses.

"We are here to make a difference in your communities. Evil needs to be removed. We have pursued the worst of the worst," said T. Michael O'Connor, the U.S. Marshal for the Southern District of Texas.

ABC13 rode along with officers in late June. The first target was a woman wanted out of Wisconsin as a witness in a homicide case. She had been evading authorities until law enforcement got a tip she was staying with her sister at an apartment near NRG Park.

Macieo White, 22, was also among those arrested during the initiative. He was charged with the murder of his girlfriend in April and had been a fugitive.

SEE RELATED: Police searching for man charged with murder after girlfriend was shot to death at apartment

As of February, there were around 25,000 outstanding felony warrants in Harris County. O'Connor defended the number of arrests made.

"It's not how many. It's who they are and what they're doing," he said. "Because if you go look at the outstanding numbers, you'll go, 'You didn't even scratch the surface,' but please understand, we pursued the worst of the worst to give hope and relief to these communities."

Operation North Star included the Houston Police Department, Harris County Sheriff's Office, Harris County Precinct 1 and 5 Constable's Offices, Montgomery County Sheriff's Office, US Attorney's Office, and Harris County District Attorney's Office.

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