ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – U.S. Attorney General William Barr stopped in Albuquerque on Tuesday to highlight an initiative aimed at curbing crime in New Mexico and that resulted in the arrests of over 300 fugitives in the state.
During an afternoon news conference, Barr highlighted the results of Operation Triple Beam, a three-month operation part of a national initiative that targets cities with the highest crime rates in an attempt to get dangerous fugitives off of the streets.
“In 2018, violent crime in Albuquerque was 3.7 times the national average, murder rate was 2.5 times the national average, aggravated assault was four times the national average,” said Barr.
Barr states that while preliminary, early 2019 numbers from major city chiefs indicate that violent crime is still up, though there has been substantial progress in some areas such as robberies.
Led by the U.S. Marshal Service, Operation Triple Beam collaborated with multiple local and federal agencies to curb violent crime in the state. Their effort resulted in the arrests of 327 total fugitives and cleared 390 total arrest warrants. Of these arrests, 35 were confirmed gang members, 10 were wanted for homicides, 20 were wanted for weapon offenses, 13 were wanted for sex crimes, 91 were wanted on narcotics charges, and 50 were wanted for assault.
“The only real way to get a handle on this is through extreme collaboration and that’s why everybody’s here today. That’s why you have a commitment from myself and every law enforcement officer in this state to move forward on this,” said Bernalillo County Sheriff Manny Gonzales.
Director of U.S. Marshal Service Donald Washington reported that 43 firearms were confiscated and 56 pounds of narcotics were seized, 50 of which were methamphetamine. There were also 31 stolen vehicles were recovered, as well as $50,000 of U.S. currency was seized.