Over 50 arrested during East Tennessee law enforcement roundup

'Operation Valkyrie' targeted sex offenders and violent criminals.

KNOXVILLE (WATE) – The U.S. Marshals Service says more than 50 sex offenders and violent criminals are off the streets in East Tennessee after a four-day law enforcement initiative called “Operation Valkyrie.”

The initiative, spearheaded by U.S. Marshals, the Knox County Sheriff’s Office and the Knoxville Police Department, was conducted to locate and apprehend sex offenders and other fugitives accused of violent, physical assaults. The Smoky Mountains Fugitive Task Force and the Sevier County Sheriff’s Office also participated.

Fifty-three people were arrested, some as far away as Raleigh, North Carolina, and almost 100 warrants were closed. Officers confiscated three firearms, four pounds of marijuana and 2.3 grams oc crack cocaine.

“Building on the success of Operation Violence Reduction, the goal of Operation Valkyrie was to locate and arrest fugitives accused of crimes that cause severe and lasting damage to our communities,” stated Jimmy Fowler, U.S. Marshal for the Eastern District of Tennessee. “We looked for fugitives accused of crimes like Aggravated Battery, Child Abuse, Child Pornography, Kidnapping, Rape of a Minor, Sexual Assault, and Violation of the Sexual Offender Registry. Our goal was to make sure these criminals were brought to justice and answer the charges against them.”

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