Arizona was recently the site of Operation Justice VI, which involved the United States Marshals Service as well as 28 other law enforcement agencies from the local, state and federal level. All of these groups joined together to round up 273 fugitives and alleged criminals, according to official reports.
The operation targeted nearly 1,000 fugitives. All had been accused of involvement in high-level felonies such as robbery, assault, rape and dangerous drug charges. Operation Justice has been timed since its inception in 2008 to coincide with the National Crime Victims’ Rights Week.
One man arrested in the sweep was Ronald Clark, accused of a home invasion in which he allegedly held a gun to a two-year-old’s head and demanded valuables. Police asked for help from the public in uncovering information about those accused of particularly violent crimes as well as fugitives and those selling guns illegally. While no one was seriously injured during the sweep, one individual was tasered.
Currently, Arizona has about 30,000 outstanding arrest warrants for fugitives. Most of these are in Maricopa County.
Criminal Allegations and Crime Sweeps
The public loves crime sweeps because it lets them know that the police and other authorities are doing their jobs. When the public hears about a crime sweep and is asked to give information, the police are forming a bond of trust with the populace. These crime sweeps are meant to put a good face on the police department for the “man or woman on the street.”
However, there are also a few problems with crime sweeps. In Arizona, as anywhere, people can be accused of crimes of which they are not guilty. While everyone is entitled to a fair trial in theory, in reality many people do not understand the workings of the criminal justice system and do not know how to protect their rights. These people may end up pleading guilty to a crime they did not commit simply because they do not believe they can beat the charges against them.
This is particularly true in crime sweeps. It is not difficult for innocent people to be arrested in a crime sweep simply because they are in the wrong place at the wrong time. If they are arrested, they are already facing steep fines and other issues and may not be able to afford to bail out of jail, even though they are not guilty of any crime.
Alex Lane is a criminal defense attorney in Phoenix who will fight for the rights of those accused of all crimes. Contact Alex Lane today for more information about how he can help you protect yourself from criminal charges.