U.S. Marshals: Inside America's Most Storied Law Enforcement Agency

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9780062227232: U.S. Marshals: Inside America's Most Storied Law Enforcement Agency

Blending history and memoir, retired U.S. Marshal Mike Earp—a descendant of the legendary lawman Wyatt Earp—offers an exclusive and fascinating behind-the-scenes look at the most storied law enforcement agency in America, illuminating its vital role in the nation’s development for more than two hundred years.

Mike Earp spent his career with the U.S. Marshals Service, reaching the number three position in the organization’s hierarchy before he retired. In this fascinating, eye-opening book, written with the service’s full cooperation, he shares his experiences and takes us on a fascinating tour of this extraordinary organization—the oldest, the most effective, and the most dangerous branch of American law enforcement, and the least known.

Unlike their counterparts in the police and the FBI, U.S. Marshals aren’t responsible for investigating or prosecuting crimes. They pursue and arrest the most dangerous criminal offenders on U.S. soil, an extraordinarily hazardous job often involving gun battles and physical altercations. Earp takes us back to the service’s early days, explaining its creation and its role in the border wars that helped make continental expansion possible. He brings to life the gunslingers and gunfights that have made the Marshals legend, and explores the service’s role today integrating federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies in the hunt for the most notorious criminals—terrorists, drug lords, gun runners.

Setting his own experiences within the long history of the U.S. Marshals service, Earp offers a moving and illuminating tribute to the brave marshals who have dedicated their lives to keeping the nation safe.

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Top 5 Things You Didn’t Know About the U. S. Marshals Service

1. Today, the U. S. Marshals Service is the leading apprehension force in America. Each year, marshals track down and arrest more felons than any other law enforcement agency in America, and more than every other federal law enforcement agency—FBI, CIA, DEA, ATF, Border Patrol, TSA, Military Police—combined. In 2012 the Marshals apprehended 122,900 fugitives, including 3,962 who were wanted for murder.

2. The U. S. Marshals Service is America's oldest law enforcement agency, established in 1789 by George Washington, who called for "the selection of the fittest characters to expound the law and dispense justice. " Legendary real-life marshals include Wyatt Earp and Bass Reeves. Famous fictional marshals are Matt Dillon, Elmore Leonard's Raylan Givens, and Rooster Cogburn, played by John Wayne in True Grit.

3. The fugitives arrested by the modern Marshals Service are career criminals who have an average of four felony convictions each. More than half of them were classified violent offenders—murder, aggravated assault and armed robbery. Jail is the last place they want to return to, meaning a U. S. marshal on their trail is their worst nightmare.

4. Working in the U. S. Marshals Service is the most dangerous job in American law enforcement. More than 200 men and women have been killed while on the job. In 2012, for example, two deputies, five task force officers, and two canine officers were killed and five more were shot and wounded. This does not include all those deputies who were shot at but not hit, nor those men and women who suffered other injuries, including being run over by vehicles, hit by hard objects, and simply assaulted. The first law enforcement officer killed in the line of duty was U. S. Marshal Robert Forsyth in 1794 in Augusta, GA.

5. The Old West tradition of deputizing citizens to form a posse and chase the bad guys has been updated and enabled the Marshals Service to form task forces. Unique in law enforcement, the Marshals Service has formed 7 regional and 60 local fugitive task forces. The task forces under the direction of deputy marshals include contributing officers from any local, state of federal law enforcement agency that chooses to participate. Contributors are permanently assigned to the task force and bring into it the most difficult cases of their agency. After being trained they also have national arrest authority, so while normally an NYPD officer cannot arrest anyone outside New York’s borders, after being deputized he or she has national arrest authority. At various times the Marshals Service stages what are known as Falcon Operations, week-long national dragnets in which all regions attempt to locate and arrest as many fugitives as possible. This is Hell Week for fugitives. Incredibly, while the general public was completely unaware this was even going on, the one-week Operation Falcon 2009 resulted in the arrest of 35,190 fugitives, including 443 murder suspects.


From the Back Cover:

Deputy U.S. Marshal: How often did you draw your gun?
Retiring FBI Agent: Never. You?
Deputy U.S. Marshal: Seven times before lunch.

123,006 Fugitives

That's how many wanted men and women, each with an average of four felony convictions to his or her name, the U.S. Marshals Service tracked down and arrested in 2012. Of that number, 3,962 were charged with murder, most were violent career criminals, and all were on the run from the authorities. If you are a fugitive in America, your worst nightmare is a deputy U.S. marshal on your trail: each year the Marshals Service takes more criminals off the streets than every other federal law enforcement agency—combined.

From Mike Earp, the former associate director of operations for the Marshals Service, and New York Times bestselling author David Fisher, this book tells the thrilling inside story of today's U.S. marshals in their own words. Based on interviews with more than fifty current and former deputies, as well as Earp's personal case notes, here are the greatest cases, hairiest arrests, and most unforgettable moments, all revealed for the first time. Here also is a history of how the marshals of legend have evolved into the country's frontline law enforcement agency, charged with apprehending the most notorious and dangerous suspects.

The U.S. Marshals Service is America's oldest law enforcement agency, established in 1789 by George Washington, who called for "the selection of the fittest characters to expound the law and dispense justice." It has had a long and colorful history, famously interwoven into the mythology of the Wild West, with notable real-life marshals like Wyatt Earp and Bass Reeves and legendary fictional characters like Matt Dillon, Elmore Leonard's Raylan Givens, and Rooster Cogburn, played by John Wayne in the 1969 film True Grit.

However, what few people realize is that in the past three decades the marshals have been at the heart of a transformation of the entire structure of law enforcement in America. The Marshals Service has become the most effective U.S. law enforcement agency, responsible for tracking down the nation's most wanted fugitives. Organized under the Department of Justice, the marshals serve as the apprehension arm for most federal agencies, including the FBI and the DEA, and across the nation U.S. Marshals regional task forces aid state and local law enforcement authorities to catch the most dangerous fugitives. All told, the Marshals Service processes more than 150,000 warrants each year, and deputies make an average of 337 arrests per day. They are also charged with transporting federal prisoners, protecting judges, and operating the Witness Security Program.

This is the untold story of the new U.S. Marshals Service, as seen through the eyes of the men and women who were pivotal in solving many of the most high-profile and dangerous cases in recent history.

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