IMG_7506SAVANNAH, GA (March 23, 2016) – The United States Marshals Service Southeast Regional Fugitive Task Force (SERFTF) and the United States Marshals Service Southern District of Georgia in conjunction with the Chatham County Sheriff’s Office(CCSO), Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police Department (SCMPD), and other SERFTF agencies carried out a sustained high impact fugitive operation that focused on Chatham County’s and the city of Savannah’s most violent offenders.

This action was part of a six-week national fugitive apprehension initiative called Operation Violence Reduction12.  As a part of this initiative, the Deputy Attorney General of the United States designated Savannah, Georgia as one of the twelve “focus cities” of the national effort.

From February 1-March 11, 2016, this apprehension action in Chatham County, Georgia and surrounding areas resulted in the arrest of 144 fugitives, including gang members, sex offenders, murder suspects, and other violent criminals that were wanted by the  U. S. Marshals, SCMPD, CCSO, and other SERFTF partner agencies.  In addition to the fugitives arrested, approximately 177 violent felony warrants were cleared.

Read the U.S.Marshal Service’s entire news release here: FINAL SERFTF VR12 News Release

SCMPD Chief of Police Joseph H. Lumpkin, Sr. said, “This effort shows what we can do with cooperation on a state, local, and federal level.  We cannot continue to let armed criminals return to the street after serving only a minute part of their sentences. The Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police Department will continue to build strong cases and the US marshal will continue to help us take these murders off the street. These are people who continue to violate of our citizens.”

Chief Lumpkin also highlighted four SCMPD cases in which the Marshals were able to make arrests:

  • Karonta Morrell, 37, was arrested March 3 and charged with two murders and an aggravated assault.  Morrell shot and killed 17-year-old Rocquan Scarver on December 10th at 39th and Burroughs streets.  Then on March 1 he killed 28-year-old Jonathan Lang and shot 51-year-old Tonya Murcherson on the 500 block of W. 40th St.  Morrell has prior convictions for Aggravated Assault, Armed Robbery, Kidnapping, Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon, Drug Possession, Theft, and Obstruction.  He was most recently released from prison in October 2015.
  • Andre Daise, 32, was arrested February 18 and charged with theChristmas Day murder of 63-year-old Randy Hooks at E. 40th and Reynolds streets.  Daise was arrested in Beaufort County.
  • Erick Lawrence, 24, was arrested February 10 and charged with Aggravated Assault.  Lawrence was wanted for a January 12 shooting on the 100 block of Googe Street.  He has prior convictions on Burglary and Drug Possession.
  • Christopher Walker was arrested February 24 on eight counts of Aggravated Assault and four counts of Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon.  He was wanted for the January 29 shooting spree at 5506 Jasmine Avenue.