The first destination of one group of Floyd County sheriff’s deputies was in South Rome — the last known residence of a man wanted on aggravated assault and robbery charges. Deputies sidled up to the home, covering exits, and the search began.
“Sometimes they run,” said FCSO deputy Christopher Hovers as he followed another sheriff’s office Dodge Charger to the third location of the day before 7 a.m. “That’s OK, we just catch them.”
Many times a knock on the front door of a home only nets more information — with an arrest coming days or city blocks away.
The roundup is a local extension of Operation Falcon, a nationwide fugitive apprehension operation coordinated by the U.S. Marshals Service. Last year the sweep netted 19,380 fugitives nationwide.
The warrants are among the county’s so-called “trouble warrants” that may be long outstanding. Or the fugitive is known to give law enforcement trouble, Sheriff Tim Burkhalter said.
Most of the charges on the Floyd County Jail intake form late that afternoon ranged from failure to appear to probation violation to theft to child support. Tuesday night, Maj. Tommy McGuire said about 80 warrants had been served in the all-day process.
The reason for the early morning blitz is to catch the wanted individuals off guard.
“A lot of times fugitives pattern us. They know when shift changes and the times we can check on them,” Burkhalter said. “But this is the time we can get out and get the jump on them — shake on that sugar tree while they’re still in bed.”
One of the surprise searches was so effective, that it turned into a full-fledged drug bust, the Sheriff said. Using a search warrant, the Rome-Floyd Metro Task Force was called in and confiscated meth, ecstasy and marijuana that otherwise would have made its way into the community.
“This was a very successful day,” Burkhalter said.
Staff Writer Jeff Gable contributed to this report.