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More Than 1,100 Sex Offenders Captured

The Associated Press


WASHINGTON — More than 1,100 people wanted for violent sex crimes have been arrested in a weeklong roundup of fugitives, the Justice Department said Thursday.

The arrests were made as part of "Operation Falcon II," a nationwide dragnet timed to coincide with National Victims Rights Week.

This year's focus was on sex offenders, a group that Attorney General Alberto Gonzales has made a priority in his 15 months at the Justice Department. Gonzales and U.S. Marshals Service Director John Clark were to discuss the results of the roundup later Thursday at a news conference in Washington.

There were 1,102 arrests of people wanted for violent sex crimes April 17-23 by federal, state and local authorities, the largest number ever captured in a single law enforcement operation, the department said. The total number of fugitives arrested last week was not immediately available.

Last year's sweep netted more than 10,000 fugitives, 10 times the average in a week, but just 1 percent of the 1 million fugitives in the FBI's national database.

Marshals arrested 35,500 federal fugitives for all of the government budget year that ended Sept. 30. They worked with state and local authorities to nab another 44,000 people, according to the Marshals' Web site.

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