TRENTON – New Jersey officials teamed up with the US Marshal Service to halt gang violence throughout the state. This effort has been coined “Operation Summer in the City” according to Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal and U.S. Marshal for the District of New Jersey Juan Mattos.
Operation Summer in the City was conducted in Newark, Trenton, Jersey City, and Camden from July 16-20. A collaborative effort of both the US Marshals Service in the District of New Jersey and the US Marshals Service NY/NJ Regional Fugitive Task Force, the initiative was an extension on the US Marshal Gang Enforcement program.
Taking place over just one week, the program targeted gang members and violent offenders with the goal of reducing gang violence in these strategic areas and improving the quality of life in these areas.
Officials focused on catching the most violent and dangerous offenders. Operation Summer in the City successfully arrested 166 fugitives. Of those, 61 documented gang members were:
- 42 Bloods
- 13 Crips
- 3 Latin Kings
- 1 Surenos
- 1 Trinitarios
During the initiative, law enforcement also seized 11 firearms, 7.15 kg in narcotics, one vehicle, and $100,000 in cash.
“The U.S. Marshals Service is thankful for the relationships that we have with our city, county, state, and federal law enforcement partners that worked tirelessly in sweltering and scorching conditions to make ‘Operation Summer in the City’ a huge success,” said Mattos. “We heard the public’s pleas for help and their expressions of gratitude for making their neighborhoods safer as a result of these arrests. We listened to you loud and clearly, and we will continue pursuing these violent fugitives that are hiding in every corner of your city.”
Grewal noted that reducing violent crime was one of his top priorities upon becoming Attorney General.
“Law enforcement throughout New Jersey has a tremendous partner in the U.S. Marshals Service, and our strategy in ‘Operation Summer in the City’ was to conduct the type of operations that the U.S. Marshals conduct every day, but multiply our forces so we could blanket these four cities with deputy marshals and other law enforcement officers and target New Jersey’s most dangerous fugitives,” stated Grewal.
The success of the Operation Summer in the City program is a good example of the benefits of the collaborative efforts between the state and federal agencies, according to Grewal.
“Six-month data for 2018 shows a decline of 24 percent in shooting ‘hit’ victims in New Jersey compared to the same period in 2017, and a 23 percent decline in shooting murder victims…Law enforcement agencies work best when they work together, and this sweep of gang members and violent offenders is an outstanding example,” he added.
In New Jersey, the US Marshals Service Gang and Regional Fugitive Task Forces have arrested 242 documented gang members from January through July of this year. The US Marshals Task Forces in New Jersey have arrested 1,489 fugitives and counting.