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I-Team: NEPA’s Most Wanted and those who find them

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WILKES-BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — The United States Marshal Fugitive Task Force operates in stealth, but the results of their work often comes to light with the capture of suspects in high profile cases.

Their mission is to track down and arrest some of the most violent fugitives from justice from across the nation and here in our region.

Officers work closely with local police departments, like Wilkes-Barre, to hunt down fugitives from justice. The I-Team gained access to the person who runs the operation, the U.S. Marshal for the Middle District of Pennsylvania.

“Behind everyone of these fugitives–nearly in every case there’s a victim and we must not forget that fact.” So our efforts are to bring these guys to justice so their victims have justice,” said Martin Pane, U.S. Marshal Middle District of PA.

Inside the marshal’s office in the federal building, in Scranton, the photos of the 15 most wanted fugtives from around the nation are displayed. Pane oversees the task force which covers 33 counties in Pennsylvania.

“The key word to the task force is fugitive, which means the individual knows that he or she is wanted. The individual who’s wanted doesn’t want to go to jail. It takes a great skill set to apprehend an individual. These fugitive hunters are known throughout the district and throughout the territory,” said Pane.

He says the task force helped track down and arrest two fugitives from justice connected to recent crimes in northeastern Pennsylvania. This past weekend they apprehended Jayshawn Johnson in Miami Florida.

Johnson was wanted in connection to a double homicide in Wilkes-Barre on January 30.
And late last month, the marshal’s helped arrest David Folweiler in East Stroudsburg who was wanted in connection with allegedly firing shots at two Pittston police officers a week earlier.

“If you are a local or state agency, and you kind of have a feeling this individual has left the area, we have the resources throughout the country. You know, if you come to us, that expertise will be applied no matter where it is in the country,” said Pane.

“That’s a perfect example of the cooperation with the task force,” said Chief Joe Coffay, Wilkes-Barre Police Department.

Chief Coffay spoke about the weekend arrest of Jayshawn Johnson in Miami.

“We’ve had officers that are assigned to the fugitive task force. What it does for us is a force multiplier. When we have a high profile cases or if we are trying to locate somebody whose going to leave the area and escape to other areas of the country,” said Chief Coffay.

The U.S. Marshal’s fugitive task force is compromised of about 50 specially trained members. Local police departments, such as Wilkes-Barre, as well as the state police, also assign officers to the task force to help with manhunts.

Marshal Pane says the task force apprehends around 1,000 fugitives in the district each year.

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