A more than year-long crackdown called Operation North Star has yielded its third mass arrest of thousands of suspects across the country, including 137 in Oakland on murder, assault, robbery, and gun charges.
It’s a stunning headline to see, as we did in Thursday’s Chronicle, that 137 people were arrested in Oakland in a collaborative effort between the Oakland Police Department and the US Marshals Service. But this was actually a much larger nationwide operation, apparently focused on nabbing fugitives across the country with outstanding warrants, which the Department of Justice says produced 4,455 arrests, 555 firearms, more than $1 million in illicit cash, and 85 kilos of illegal drugs.
“Together with our law enforcement partners across the country, the Justice Department is zeroing in on the violent fugitives responsible for the greatest crime in our communities,” Attorney General Merrick Garland said in the DoJ announcement. “The U.S. Marshals Service conducted Operation North Star III to target the most violent criminals, and together with state and local law enforcement arrested over 4,400 fugitives across 20 cities in just three months.”
The 4,500 suspects nationwide are not connected, and were wanted on a variety of charges. The DoJ says this crackdown called Operation North Star III “resulted in the clearance of 2,818 violent warrants,” so it seems that the feds worked with more than a dozen local police departments to just go after their highest-profile suspects with outstanding warrants.
Per the Chronicle, the Oakland effort resulted in 31 arrests for suspects with homicide warrants, 27 on robbery warrants, 26 on gun charges, 20 on assault charges, and four for sex offenses.
This was the third of these Operation North Star crackdowns since July 2022. This one encompassed 20 cities (Oakland and Los Angeles being the two in California), The other cities included, Chicago, New York, Philadelphia, Washington, DC and others.
While the local effort was a collaboration with the Oakland Police Department, that department declined to comment on the matter, and instead directed inquiries to the US Marshal Service.