Fugitive roundup: 61 homicide suspects among nearly 200 people arrested in L.A.
“These arrests might not bring back what was taken but they offer a sense of closure,” Police Chief Michel Moore said
By Eric Licas
Los Angeles Daily News
LOS ANGELES — Nearly 200 people suspected of murders, sexual assaults and other serious crimes in Los Angeles are behind bars following a joint effort by police and U.S. Marshals to hunt down fugitives in 10 of the nation’s largest cities, officials said Thursday, July 7.
Operation North Star resulted in the total arrest of 192 men and women between June 1 and June 30 in Los Angeles, LAPD Chief Michel Moore said during a news conference Thursday afternoon at the department’s headquarters downtown.
Among them were 61 homicide suspects, 26 people wanted for sexual assault and two suspected of kidnapping.
“These arrests might not bring back what was taken,” Moore said. “But they offer some measure of comfort to the victims, some measure of comfort to their families and a sense of closure.”
Fugitives were found in all 11 subdivisions patrolled by the LAPD, and some had been on the lam anywhere between a period of several days to several months, Police Capt. Lillian Carranza said. Moore and David Singer, the head of the U.S. Marshal for the District of California, described many of those targeted by their operation as career criminals with the potential for more violence.
One of the cases involved a sexual assault in the San Fernando Valley on April 2, Carranza said. A man went into a home through an unlocked back door in an area patrolled by the LAPD’s Foothill Division, and assaulted a 13-year-old girl while her family was asleep.
Police and U.S. Marshals identified a 25-year-old Ontario man as a suspect, and took him into custody on June 28.
Another case involved the shooting of a California Highway Patrol officer who was conducting a traffic stop in Studio City at Laurel Canyon Boulevard, just south of the 101 Freeway, on June 13. A struggle broke out and the driver, later identified as 33-year-old Pejhmaun Iraj Khosroabadi, drew a gun and wounded the officer multiple times, authorities said.
Khosroabadi, a combat veteran who was reeling with depression at the time, according to his relatives, was found by police and marshals about 12 hours later in a homeless encampment. He has since been charged with attempted murder of a peace officer.
Authorities participating in the operation also seized 47 firearms in Los Angeles, Moore said. Several ghost guns, weapons assembled from parts that can be nearly impossible to trace, were among those that were taken off the streets.
A total of 89 agencies in Los Angeles as well as Washington D.C., New York City, New Orleans, Chicago, Philadelphia, Memphis, Houston, Indianapolis and Baltimore participated with U.S. Marshals in Operation North Star. Those communities were chosen in part because they have experienced notable increases in violent crime in recent years, Moore said.
Nationwide, about 1,400 arrests were made during the month-long joint effort, including 230 homicide suspects. And over 160 guns were seized.