Fugitive Task Force Helps Solve Cold Cases

When it comes to apprehending fugitives, this is what comes to mind. Guns drawn, manhunts, a thrilling arrest. Such may be the climax of a fugitive apprehension, but prior to the excitement comes a lot of legwork.

Nacogdoches County's Lt. Doug Richardson knows all about that when it comes to catching up with fugitives. "It's nice to be able to pinpoint and have the crime solved, it's just locating the person and getting the wheels of justice moving ," said Richardson.

Some may be have committed horrendous crimes like those found on the Texas' Ten Most Wanted list. Then there are others who may not even know they're wanted. "A lot of times they'll get labeled as a fugitive and they won't have a residence. Or a drifter, or they've been kicked out. Hard luck or whatever the story we just can't find 'em," said Richardson.

But when tips surface, no matter where or when, law enforcement agencies can call for help through the Fugitive Apprehension Task Force. In East Texas a narcotics task force undercover agent is assigned by the Governor's office to fugitive apprehension detail.

"Our primary goal is if we get information that a wanted individual is hiding out in this area we want to commit what resources we can to make that arrest and get them into custody," explained Nacogdoches County Sheriff Thomas Kerss.

United States Marshal John Moore has formed another useful tool for apprehending fugitives. He's deputized all sheriffs and designees in the eastern district as Deputy United States Marshals. Sheriff Kerss has the authority to make arrests under the federal court system in neighboring states. "Without having to go through the delays that sometimes take affect in waiver of extradition or seeking governor warrants on that extradition," said Kerss.