Aug. 21 (UPI) -- Missouri and federal law enforcement agents arrested hundreds of repeat offenders during a U.S. Marshals' operation aimed at removing violent criminals from Kansas City streets, authorities said.
During a press conference at the Jackson County Courthouse in downtown Kansas City, Gov. Mike Parson, with U.S. Marshal Mark James and U.S. Attorney Tim Garrison, announced that 355 fugitives with outstanding warrants had been arrested as part of Operation Triple Beam.
Under the 10-week U.S. Marshals Service-initiated operation, some of the city's most violent and active repeat offenders were removed from its streets along with 69 firearms, more than 2,000 rounds of ammunition and 4.4 kilograms of methamphetamine, heroin, cocaine, marijuana and other illegal drugs, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of Missouri said in a statement.
"Operation Triple Beam brought a laser focus by all levels of law enforcement -- federal, state and local -- to combat violent crime by targeting the worst offenders," Garrison said. "Armed and dangerous fugitives were located, arrested and taken off the street to face justice in state and federal court."
The operation's goal was to decrease the number of violent and gun-related crimes committed during the peak summer months by focusing on violent offenders and gang members known by law enforcement for repeatedly breaking the law.
"The intent was to remove subjects from the street who are responsible for fueling violent crime in the community and to seize illegally possessed drugs and firearms that are at the center of their violent activities," the attorney's office said.
There were 117 arrests for drugs charges, 71 for weapons offenses, 25 for burglary, 22 for assault, 17 for vehicle theft, 14 for fraud, 10 for robbery, six for sexual offenses, four for sexual assault, one for failure to register as a sexual offender and 59 for other crimes.
There were also eight arrested for homicide.
Not one person was killed nor was there a single shootout in the process of committing the arrests, said James during the press conference.
"Taskforce members would sometimes spend days tracking these fugitives down around the clock to arrest them in the safest of conditions," he said.
Police also arrested fugitives from Missouri law in other states as well as in Mexico while apprehending those hiding in Missouri from police in other jurisdictions, he said.
Gov. Parson said Operation Triple Beam was "a great start" but the state's Kansas City, St. Louis and Springfield are still dealing with a surge in violent crime.
"That's not who we are in this state, and we have to address that issue," he said. "We, as parents, or grandparents for some of us, it is about protecting our kids. It's about protecting our communities."
To curb the problem, it will take more than one agency or group, he said.
"It will be about all of us trying to find a solution to go after these criminals -- that's exactly what they are -- and take them off the street and make sure they are to be punished for their acts, that's exactly what we should be focused on," he said.