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Now You Can Text Tips to Marshals About Fugitives

In addition to calling the U.S. Marshals Service to offer a tip on a wanted fugitive, you can now simply send a text.

Federal law enforcement has added another way to tip off authorities about a wanted fugitive.

You can now send a text to the U.S. Marshal’s Office if you suspect someone you saw is a wanted killer, robber or sex offender that marshals are trying to arrest. The new contact method went into operation this month.

You can also still call a phone number to give marshals your information, but the new method has advantages, the Florida Regional Fugitive Task Force said in a release. In the Tampa area, the number is 813-483-4250.

A phone call may just connect you to an answering machine and you have to rely on a person taking the message and passing it along to the investigator then waiting for a call back, the release said.

Sending a text is anonymous and you can pick when to start and end the contact. You may have no control over when a marshal returns your call under the old method. Also, the agency said, rewards that range from $250 to $10,000 are linked to catching many of the fugitives.

The method also lets investigators directly contact the person with the tip and gather more detailed information, the release said. New, fresh information can be relayed more rapidly, such as when the fugitive is on the move.

A U.S. Marshals Service office in Ohio was the first district to use the new system last year and it has been implemented in other districts since.

Last year the Florida Regional Fugitive Task Force nabbed more than 5,000 fugitives, and of those the 1,776 were arrested in the Middle Florida district that includes Pasco County and the Tampa Bay area.

If you want to use the new method, text TIP411, or 847411 and enter the keyword USMFL.

Contacting the Florida Regional Fugitive Task Force website is another method, or you can go to the U.S. Marshals site and click on Apprehending Fugitives, then Fugitive Task Forces to find a link to the Florida and Caribbean task force for information about fugitives marshals are seeking and to offer a tip.

To see a list and photographs of all the fugitives wanted by the U.S. Marshals Service in the Tampa Bay area, click here.

Linda Chion Kenney (Editor) May 03, 2012 at 10:31 AM
813-483-4250. Got it. Plugged into my cell phone. How about you?
Valerie Parkhurst May 12, 2012 at 11:23 AM
For someone as myself who is as cynical as cynical can get over governmental agencies I have to admit the Marshal Services got my attention in the last year (in a good way). I read daily of the "fugitive" apprehensions and for the first time in a long time, we may actually be getting our monies worth out this sector of Law Enforcement. The public would be surprised how many genuine "bad guys" they come into contact with on a daily basis in Florida. The technology afforded to the public is as easy as a click away these days. We have "neighborhood watch" programs ..why not bad guy web watchers? Look up who is most wanted and make a mental note of it. Floridians are gonna have to actively participate in cleaning the trash out of this state. Remember, Florida is number two in sex offenders and overall bad guys for no other reason than our beaches are better. Especially in the Winter months..Many slither into Florida and stay year round.
Toni Wills December 03, 2012 at 05:30 AM
Yea but I think they should of thought of new ways or better way to keep some of these criminals off the street....or like this Kareem Hack case how do you get your ankle monitor off? This man has been on the run for sooo long while that mother day after day worries if he will pop back up and the depression she has gone thru because he has slipt thru the cracks and still hasnt done no time for the crime on those poor children...sometimes I sit and think and understand why some parents or people take matters into their own hands because justice dont prevail!!!

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