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A day in the life of a U.S. marshal

Posted June 4, 2009

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— U.S. marshals are called on to help law enforcement crack down on crime. John Bridge, a deputy U.S. marshal, says it's a job most people don't understand.

"They think it's anything from the same thing as the Texas Rangers, to wondering if we ride horses still,” he said.

WRAL rides along with a U.S. marshal WRAL rides along with a U.S. marshal

Bridge is assigned to the Fugitive Task Force based in Greensboro; it also includes Durham and Orange counties. He works with local agencies to help catch people with outstanding warrants.

"We bring our resources to the table. They provide us with manpower,” Bridge said.

During a WRAL News ride-along, he worked with Durham police. The cases primarily involved violent crimes, gangs, drugs or sex offenses.

"The guy we are looking for right now is a probation violator,” Bridge said.

Bridge got a tip the suspect was hiding in a Durham home, but he was not there when deputies arrived.

"We found out some subsequent information that he might have gone to another address in Durham,” Bridge said.

They checked that out but again, found nothing. Bridge and his team are used to striking out, he said.

"It happens at least half the time, probably more often than not,” Bridge said.

However, the task force has had success. In 2007, they arrested about 500 people and in 2008, almost 600. Bridge said about half of those arrests were in Durham County.

"It's a process of trial and error,” Bridge said.

By the third try, they had some luck.

"We arrested him (suspect) for an embezzlement warrant out of the Durham Police Department,” Bridge said.

The team also tracked down another suspect at a University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill construction site.

"He's got warrants for vehicle larceny and felony conspiracy,” Bridge said.

At the end of the day, they got two of the four people they were searching for.

"Fifty percent (success rate), I can live with that," Bridge said.

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  • Just the facts mam Jun 4, 2009

    It is too bad there are so many criminals around here - all of the money we have to spend for police, sheriff, US Marshalls, judges, prisons, and I could go on and on, but if all of that money could be spent on making people more productive rather than having to protect society from these criminals, it would be such a good thing for society. But the criminals insist on being a drain on society rather than working to make it better. And there is often a pattern to the majority of criminals - need to look no farther than local news to see this pattern.