US Marshals Service News: Operation Washout Northern Virginia Targets Gang Ties

Alexandria, VA (STL.News) – The U.S. Marshals Capital Area Regional Fugitive Task Force recently conducted Operation Washout Northern Virginia (OWNV), a major operation that included executing 30 active warrants that resulted in the arrest or location of 22 individuals with alleged gang affiliations.

“The collaboration, joint training, communication and operational teamwork is the basis of any successful operation, and this one was no different,” said Robert Mathieson, U.S. Marshal for the Eastern District of Virginia.

Operation Washout, a nationwide initiative by the U.S. Marshals Service to locate and eradicate violent gang activity from local communities, was jointly executed by law enforcement agents and officers representing numerous federal, state and local agencies.  The operation, which began on March 4 and concluded on March 7, resulted in the arrest or positive location of 22 individuals.  The U.S. Marshals and our partner agencies are actively seeking the remaining eight individuals.

“The success of Project Safe Neighborhoods, our primary anti-violent crime strategic program, relies upon the collaboration of federal, state and local law enforcement,” said G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia.  “Often the focus of our efforts is on the investigation and prosecution of offense conduct, however, another key element is the apprehension of those individuals with outstanding arrest warrants.  Our partners at the U.S. Marshals Service are often tasked with locating and apprehending dangerous defendants accused of criminal activity.  My sincere thanks to the U.S. Marshals Service for their professionalism and outstanding partnership here in the Eastern District.”

While Operation Washout operations have been conducted throughout the entire country, this was the first time an Operation Washout has been conducted here in Northern Virginia.  The cooperation between law enforcement partners allows for sharing of information, which makes contributes to the success of complex operations such as OWNV.

U.S. Marshal Mathieson would like to thank the following law enforcement agencies for the partnership in Operation Washout: Prince William Police Department, Fairfax County Police Department, Alexandria Sherriff’s Office, Virginia State Police, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Washington, D.C., and U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

Since 2010, the U.S. Marshals have led more than 60 counter gang operations, which have yielded over 8,000 arrests and the seizure of more than 1,800 illegal firearms.