The U.S. Marshals Service Gulf Coast Regional Fugitive Task Force announced today the results of a multi-agency violent crime reduction initiative that began in June and continued throughout the summer, ultimately leading to 163 arrests.

Titled Operation Triple Beam, the effort targeted hyper-violent criminal efforts and partnered federal, state and local law enforcement agencies determined to reduce violent crime and take dangerous offenders off the streets in Mobile County.

By combining each agency’s specific investigative specialty in a collective, organized and targeted manner, Operation Triple Beam utilized a model that had never been seen before in Mobile County until now, according to Henry Geberth, supervisory inspector for the Investigative Operations Division of the U.S. Marshals Service.

While the very same model was used in Selma last year, the applicability of this particular operation being used in larger cities like Atlanta, New Orleans and Chicago can be just as effective in a small city like Mobile as it was in those communities, he said.

Authorities seized 83 illegal firearms, $24,000 in U.S. currency and more than $79,000 worth of illegal substances such as crack cocaine, marijuana, spice, methamphetamine, illegal prescription medications and codeine, according to Geberth.

Furthermore, 163 people were arrested and charged with felony offenses and it is expected that a number of these cases will result in federal indictment by the United States Attorney, he said.

More than 30 law enforcement officers from the U.S. Marshals Service Gulf Coast Regional Task Force, Alabama Board of Pardons and Parole, Mobile Police Department, Mobile County Sheriff’s Office and the Drug Enforcement Administration combined their resources for Operation Triple Beam, Geberth said.

“This is a collective operation and we take all these agencies … and focus on their specific investigative specialties,” he said. “So, taking each individual’s specialty and being able to apply it towards this operation is what made it effective.”

Geberth named Mobile Police Chief James Barber and Mobile County Sheriff Sam Cochran as key individuals in the effort because each of their respective departments and officers on the streets were able to report intelligence to the U.S. Marshals’ task force to help identify where problems were occurring and individuals involved with those problems.

“It is the sole fundamental purpose of government to ensure the safety of the public,” Barber said. “I think this offender-oriented approach and the interagency cooperation that you see today between the local, state and federal employees is absolutely necessary to meet that obligation, but even furthermore, I think it is somewhat unprecedented in this region the amount of cooperation that we have between law enforcement agencies.”