Exclusive: U.S. Marshals Ride-Along - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports


Exclusive: U.S. Marshals Ride-Along

By Lindsey Connell - bio | email | Twitter

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -  You might not know it but the United States Marshals have a local office inside the Federal Courthouse in downtown Columbus.

Their job, however, is no 9 to 5.

"We're the enforcement arm for the federal courts. Anything from serving process to tracking and arresting fugitives- both federal and state fugitives," said Deputy U.S. Marshal Chris Wright.

But the US Marshals have more then just fugitives on their "wanted" list.

"A lot of warrants are probation violators or federally released supervision violators but those warrants are just as important as some of the others because many of these people are repeat offenders with extensive criminal histories and they need to be dealt with accordingly. If they are released, they need to abide by the conditions that they're released under. If they're not, then there's consequences and that's where we come in," explained Bob Greene, another local Deputy United States Marshal.

To see them in action, the Marshals let our cameras roll as they assisted the Muscogee County Sheriff's Office in arresting local felons.

Our first stop is a home in the South Columbus Benning Hills subdivision.

"We have a warrant on an individual. We're going to check a residence to see if he's there this morning," Special Agent in Charge Alan Brock said.

The man they're looking for has violated his probation on a felony weapons charge.

When we first get there, no one is home. But as the officers regroup, their target pulls into the driveway.

The Marshals block him in and he takes off.

But with a Sheriff's deputy and U.S. Marshal on his tail, he doesn't make it far.

"The guy jumped over a fence and was going through the next backyard. I went over the fence and told him to stop and pulled my taser and it stopped him. He put his hands up like we told him to and he gave up," Wright revealed. "Folks run for a myriad of reasons from they may beholding some contraband they want to ditch or they may just not want to go back to jail."

In all, the crew arrests six people on this day, clearing seven warrants.

Days later: 5 AM, Lumpkin, Georgia. The Marshals are on a mission.

"This Carl Mack Jones- the subject of our investigation this morning. He tested positive for cocaine usage and therefore violated his probation and now we get sent out to go find him and bring him before the court," Wright told News Leader 9.

The deputies roll up on the shack where Jones is staying in the Stewart County town. The lights are on but no one's home.

Jones may have slipped out of their reach but he doesn't enjoy his freedom for very long.

"He wasn't there at the time but the very next day after talking with local law enforcement down there we received information where he was at, made a call to the Sheriff's Office and five minutes later, they had him in custody for us," Greene said.

Shortly after that arrest, the Marshals work with members of the Southeast Regional Fugitive Task Force and make a break in another major case. They capture Alton Lacy, a murder suspect wanted in Norfolk, Virginia.

"That's why most of us sign up for this job. We love the hunt and to get the fugitives off the street," said Greene.

Another day, another case- The Marshals are tracking Phenix City resident Michael Murphy.

"He originally was charged with bank robbery, served his time in prison, has gotten out and so far, he's failed to comply with his probation officers instructions," Wright explained.

We head to Murphy's Apartment but he's not there. A few hours later, the Marshals get a call from an anonymous source telling them Murphy's back but he's getting ready to leave.

The Marshals and Phenix City investigators follow the car and take him down on the side of the road.

"These people have warrants on them. Judges, grand juries, whoever, have decided that they need to be brought back before the court and that's our job in every way shape and form," added Greene.

"Now it's on to the next one," Wright said.

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