Federal Sweep Nets 114 Fugitives in Milwaukee
30-day U.S. Marshals operation clears 213 warrants, including 11 for homicide.
A 30-day mass apprehension initiative in the Milwaukee area resulted in the arrest of 114 individuals with a combined 213 open warrants.
Led by the U.S. Marshals Service, Operation North Star II was a success according to agency director Ronald Davis. It resulted in closing 11 open warrants for homicide and the seizure of 45 firearms, $27,600 in cash and nine kilograms of illegal narcotics.
“The U.S. Marshals Service remains steadfast in its commitment to assisting law enforcement and community leaders at all levels to combat violent crime,” said Davis in a statement announcing the results. “The success of Operation North Star II is based on its laser focus on the most significant drivers of violence. We are confident that apprehending these offenders will bring a level of justice to their victims and contribute to the overall violence reduction efforts in each city and hopefully bring a level of justice to their victims.”
The effort was focused on “the most serious, violent and harmful offenses” including homicide, forcible sexual assault, robbery or aggravated assault. The 10-location operation also included Albuquerque, Buffalo, Cleveland, Columbus, Detroit, Jackson, Kansas City, Oakland and Puerto Rico. The broader operation resulted in the arrest of 833 fugitives.
Included in those arrested in Milwaukee is Antonio Jenkins. According to the U.S. Marshals, Jenkins fired a gun into a Milwaukee Police Department detective’s home in November, striking the detective’s daughter in the leg. He was wanted for first-degree reckless endangerment of safety, possessing a firearm as a felon, battery and “sale/possess/use/transport machine gun.” The Marshals Service said Jenkins was arrested on Jan. 13 in West Allis without incident. A handgun and ammunition were seized as part of the arrest.
The operation was ongoing when Davis visited Milwaukee on Jan. 25 to hear suggestions from local leaders on how the agency could support public safety. Davis, in a press scrum after the January meeting, did not rule out that a second Operation North Star was being considered when asked. “I am confident we are looking at providing additional resources and support,” said Davis, without acknowledging it was already happening. The initial Operation North Star in 2022 resulted in 1,501 arrests, but did not include Milwaukee. But last year, the agency conducted “Operation Triple Beam Honey Badger” in Wisconsin, which resulted in 260 arrests of known violent offenders.
“We are not naive enough to think this is enough to end violent crime, but when we can remove enough violent criminals it can start to have an impact,” said Anna Ruzinski, the U.S. Marshal for the Eastern District of Wisconsin in a press conference Wednesday.
“It’s safe to assume that because of the arrests that took, there are crimes that did not take place,” said Mayor Cavalier Johnson.
The mayor reiterated his now well-trodden refrain that “everybody has a role to play” in making Milwaukee a safe city.
“We know law enforcement is not the only answer,” said Ruzinski, who with the mayor, stressed prevention efforts include creating communities where people live stable lives.
Police officers from Milwaukee, Appleton, Racine, Sheboygan and Wauwatosa and sheriff’s deputies from Milwaukee, Waukesha, Manitowoc and Racine counties joined members of the Wisconsin Department of Corrections, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and Drug Enforcement Agency to carry out the month-long operation.
U.S. Marshals North Star II Video
This article will be updated with additional information from the press conference