Local News

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

Posted June 4, 2009 4:25 p.m. EDT
Updated June 4, 2009 7:05 p.m. EDT

— 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.

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.