CLEVELAND — EDITOR'S NOTE: The video in the player above is from a previous story.
The U.S. Marshals Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force (NOVFTF) announced Wednesday that it has surpassed 50,000 arrests in the past 18 years. That breaks down to about 2,777 arrests every year.
On Tuesday, members of the NOVFTF found and arrested 20-year-old Brannon Newell. He was located and taken into custody without incident at a home in the 1600 block of Maple Ave. NE in Canton.
A Canton Police Department investigation brought rape and gross sexual imposition charges against Newell, involving a child under the age of six. Newell was indicted on April 28 in the Stark County Court system.
The NOVFTF was created in 2003 in memory of Cleveland Police Patrolman Wayne Leon, who was killed in the line of duty by a fugitive. Since its creation, the task force has grown from one division in Cleveland to eight divisions across the northern portion of Ohio. Those teams are made up of more than 100 federal, state and local law enforcement agencies with more than 300 law enforcement officers that work together to find and apprehend the most violent fugitives in northern Ohio.
In the past 18 years, the NOVFTF has cleared more than 73,000 warrants and arrested more than 1,700 people for homicide, more than 4,600 for sexual offenses, more than 7,700 for assaults, more than 4,200 for robbery, more than 3,600 for weapons offenses and more than 14,200 for narcotics-related crimes. During this time, the task force has seized more than 2,200 firearms, more than 47,000 rounds of ammunition, almost 900 kilograms of illegal narcotics, and more than $4.4 million dollars.
“Violent crime and its perpetrators will always be one of the evil parts of our society, but the partnership between these law enforcement agencies and the community will be what continues to combat that evil.” U.S. Marshal Pete Elliott added, “The success of this task force is due to the unparalleled working relationship that has been built over the years with the local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies and the incredible partnership into the communities we serve.”
In late 2020, the NOVFTF also debuted the creation of a new investigative unit that focuses on recovering missing and endangered children. Operation Safety Net was its first mission. Over about five weeks, 35 missing and endangered kids between the ages of 13 and 18 were recovered. A little more than 20% of them were tied to human trafficking cases, which were then referred to the Human Trafficking Task Force in Cuyahoga County. Though the operation focused on missing and endangered children from the Cleveland area, kids in Euclid, Akron, Mansfield, Columbus and other Ohio cities, plus Miami, Florida were also recovered. Since the operation wrapped up, a permanent division has been established in Northern Ohio to investigate and recover missing children.
Anyone with information concerning any wanted fugitive can contact the Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force at 1-866-4WANTED (1-866-492-6833), or you can send a web tip at the following webpage http://www.usmarshals.gov/district/oh-n/index.html. Reward money is available and tipsters may remain anonymous.
EDITOR'S NOTE: The video in the player below is from a previous story.