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Source: Eric Fernandez / Eric Fernandez

INDIANAPOLIS — Violent crime is not an issue unique to Indianapolis. It is an issue plaguing many cities throughout the US, which is why the US Marshals are once again partnering with local law enforcement to catch criminals who commit such violence.

On Wednesday, leaders with the US Marshals, Indianapolis Metro Police, and the Marion County Sheriff’s Department got together to highlight the next phase of Operation North Star.

“Last year alone we had over 75,000 apprehensions, including close to 6,000 homicide suspects,” said Ronald Davis, director of the US Marshals. “None of that could be achieved if it wasn’t for our state and local partners.”

Davis expects more results from Phase 3 of the operation which got underway in central Indiana with the arrest of Joshua Smiley in Avon last week. Smiley was wanted for a murder in Alabama and had been among the Top 15 most wanted by the US Marshals.

IMPD chief Randal Taylor said it’s concerning that Indianapolis has to be a focus of the operation given the amount of violent crime happening, but he said he’s grateful to have the help of the feds.

“It’s not a good thing for Indianapolis to be on the radar from the standpoint of violence,” he said. “But, it is, from the standpoint that the Marshals Service is willing to come out, that we are getting some of these bad actors off the streets.”

“I will point out that there are 188 people in jail right now charged with murder,” added Marion County Sheriff Kerry Forestal. “Very few of them surrendered themselves. So, it’s important actions like today that help get these people off the street.”

Davis said they are targeting specific known criminals and not simply looking to “break arrest records.”