Finding 1 Million U.S. Fugitives Seems A Hit-and-Miss Proposition


After six years on the loose, James Scott Jr. was arrested during a random traffic stop – the way many of those wanted on felony warrants are picked up, if they are apprehended at all, says the Dayton Daily News. “There’s just too many,” said Pat Sedoti, U.S. Marshal in charge of three Southern Ohio Fugitive Apprehension Strike Teams. “You have to pick the ones you want to go after.”

No one knows exactly how many wanted felons are on the loose, and no one is actively pursuing many of them. Last week, authorities said more than 1 million warrants were listed in the National Crime Information Center database. There are 35,181 in Ohio’s counterpart, the Law Enforcement Automated Data System. During the past two months, the Daily News talked with experts and authorities at the local, state and national level about the issues and problems that keep them from bringing more fugitives to justice. Hundreds of thousands of people wanted on warrants who couldn’t be found after charges were filed, who skipped bond while awaiting trial or who have violated the conditions of probation or parole. Many are accused or convicted of serious crimes like sexual assault, drug trafficking or felonious assault – even murder.

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