TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – Across Cherokee and Adair counties, dozens of people are now in jail after local, state and federal law enforcement carried out a massive warrant sweep.
Overall 48 arrest warrants were issued as part of an investigation several departments are calling Operation Red Fern.
The operation targeted suspects for primarily violent crimes. Some were targeted for drug related offenses. U.S. Marshal Misty Stewart said the crimes range from murder to attempted murder, robbery, kidnapping, child molestation, arson to felony drug charges.
Officers booked 38 people into the Cherokee County Detention Center. In addition to those, authorities report 10 individuals were already incarcerated for other crimes and could now face new charges.
The U.S. Marshals Service, District 27 District Attorney's Office, Cherokee Nation Marshals, Oklahoma Highway Patrol, Tahlequah Police Department and Cherokee County Sheriff's Office were involved in the operation.
The planning for this endeavor took several months with the arrests starting Monday and ending Wednesday. Several of the arrests took place in the Park Hill area at a few trailer parks as well as during vehicle stops.
Many of the 38 arrested were hard to track down at first, Stewart said, because they don't maintain a permanent address and move around often.
"It is hard to catch up with some of them when it is like that because you never know where they're floating at," Stewart said. "However through interviewing people and talking with neighbors and being out in the community, our teams were so good with the interviewing and questions, it led to the arrests."
Phase one of Operation Red Fern is complete. U.S. Marshals expect phase two will be carried out next month - when they plan to serve warrants on several more violent crimes in neighboring counties.
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