Throughout the month of April, the U.S. Marshals Service honored and recognized victims of crime by conducting “Operation Justice 2018.”
The month-long enforcement initiative involved 16 law enforcement agencies from Maricopa and Pinal counties.
In order to have the greatest impact on victim crimes, the operation employed a systematic and sustained approach to target and arrest violent fugitives wanted for higher level felony crimes including Homicide, Robbery, Sexual Assault, Dangerous Drugs, and Aggravated Assault.
“Operation Justice is one of many multi-agency fugitive apprehension programs coordinated by the U.S. Marshals Service through task force networks at the local level,” said David P. Gonzales, U.S. Marshal for the District of Arizona.
“Law enforcement is more efficient and effective when we all work together. The goal is to make our communities safer by arresting dangerous career criminals who continue to commit serious crimes while on the run.”
“We also want to send a message to the victims of crime that we have not forgotten the impact that crime has had on them and their loved ones.”
Since 1981, the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office for Victims of Crime has observed an annual week of remembrance entitled National Crime Victims’ Rights Week.
In 2008, the U.S. Marshals Service in Arizona initiated “Operation Justice” as a law enforcement partnership to seek out and arrest fugitives, thereby ensuring the justice process continues unabated in an effort to assist in the healing and recovery for the victims of crime.
(The 2018 National Crime Victims’ Rights Week (NCVRW) Theme Video emphasizes the importance of inclusion in victim services. Visit www.ovc.gov/ncvrw to learn more about NCVRW. Courtesy of Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) and YouTube. Posted on Mar 2, 2018)
This year, National Crime Victims’ Rights Week was observed from April 8 to April 14, 2018.
In observance of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, members of the Arizona WANTED Violent Offender Task Force made a concentrated effort to arrest the most violent career criminals and gang members plaguing the Phoenix metro area.
While the U.S. Marshals Service targets and prioritizes the worst of the worst fugitives every day, “Operation Justice” allows federal, state, and local valley law enforcement agencies to pool their resources in a cooperative enforcement endeavor over a month long period.
This operation is in its 10th successful year and resulted in hundreds of violent fugitive arrests, removing them from our communities and creating a safer environment by keeping them from committing more crimes.
(Learn More about The United States Marshals Service (USMS), narrated by John Walsh from America’s Most Wanted. Courtesy of Shane T. McCoy and YouTube)
Operation Justice 2018 proved to be an effective initiative with arrests totaling 310 throughout Maricopa and Pinal Counties.
Of the 310 fugitives taken into custody, arrests include 8 for Homicide, 64 for Aggravated Assault, 38 for Sex Offenses/Sex Assaults, and 58 for Robbery/Firearms related offenses.
The following arrests are examples of the type of career criminals and predators focused on during this operation:
Courtlin Florence, 19, and David Borland, 19, were arrested in Phoenix during “Operation Justice 2018”.
Florence and Borland were both wanted on charges of Homicide. It is alleged that on March 25th, 2018, Florence and an unidentified male (later identified as Borland) had previously been involved in a physical altercation with the victim.
Florence and Borland searched for and later located the victim in an apartment complex and fired multiple rounds striking the victim in the head.
After shooting the victim, the two subjects were observed fleeing the area.
On April 13th, members of the Arizona WANTED Violent Offender Task Force along with the Phoenix Gang Unit, located Florence and Borland and took them into custody.
Jorge Gallardo-Arballo, 28, was arrested during “Operation Justice 2018” in Tolleson.
Gallardo-Arballo was wanted by the Tucson Police Department on a warrant for Attempted First Degree Murder after allegedly setting his girlfriend’s house on fire.
On April 3rd, 2018, members of the Arizona WANTED Violent Offender Task Force located Gallardo-Arballo at a residence in Tolleson, AZ.
Task Force members attempted to call Gallardo-Arballo out of the residence, but he initially refused to come out.
After continued announcements, Gallardo-Arballo was observed coming out of the house and was subsequently taken into custody.
Alberto Gandara, 41, was arrested in Phoenix during “Operation Justice 2018”.
Gandara was wanted by the Glendale Police Department on charges of Sexual Assault.
It is alleged that in 2016, Gandara sexually assaulted a female passenger after picking her up as an Uber fare.
On April 5th, 2018, Gandara was located and identified at a residence in Phoenix where members of the Arizona WANTED Violent Offender Task Force were able to take him into custody on the Sexual Assault charge.
“Operation Justice 2018 focused collaborative efforts on arresting some of the most violent offenders attempting to hide within our communities,” said Chief Rick St. John of the Glendale Police Department.
“The Glendale Police Department was a proud participant during this combined effort with agencies from all over the state to ensure victims of violence can feel safer and improve the quality of life for the community as a whole.”
“Partnerships like this are a prime example of agencies crossing jurisdictions and working together successfully to accomplish a common goal.”
(Learn More about The United States Marshals Service (USMS), a U.S. federal law enforcement agency within the U.S. Department of Justice. Courtesy of SOF-LAW-INTEL and YouTube)
“The Phoenix Police Department partners with local, state and federal law enforcement entities to together apprehend our most violent offenders,” said Chief Jeri Williams of the Phoenix Police Department.
“Apprehending these suspects helps us advocate for the victims and bring justice to them.”
“These task forces allow us to use the newest techniques and technologies to locate them and ensure the information is shared through all levels of law enforcement. Working together benefits all departments but most importantly our victims.”
The Mesa Police Department was proud to join with the United States Marshals Office and our local partners for Operation Justice 2018,” said Chief Ramon Batista of the Mesa Police Department.
“By agencies joining together, we create a substantial force to move swiftly through our communities arresting violent felons and repeat offenders who prey on our residents.”
“Through the efforts of the men and women working the operation, we ensure that dangerous criminals are located and taken into custody.”
“Law Enforcement working together in this way is a true representation of the commitment our agencies have towards the greater good of not only our city, but the community as a whole.”
“We are honored to have participated in making the valley a great place to live.”
The United States Marshals Service is the nation’s oldest federal law enforcement agency. Annually, U.S. Marshals arrest more than 50 percent of all federal fugitives and serve more federal warrants than all other federal agencies combined.