These guns were among the 31 seized during Operation Triple Beam in Omaha.
By Dan McCann
Joint Operation Still Yields Public Safety Benefits
The Daily Record
The joint operation produced impressive results: hundreds of arrests in the Omaha area and a substantial seizure of guns and drugs, tangible successes heralded in local newspaper and television coverage.
Now, more than two months after the official end of Operation Triple Beam – a national gang enforcement initiative – the City of Omaha continues to reap unsung benefits in the form of enhanced public safety and cooperation.
“Deputy U.S. marshals and Omaha Police Department gang officers worked side-by-side daily, building trust and communication that does not suddenly disappear when the assignment ends,” said Mark Martinez, U.S. marshal for the District of Nebraska.
The 15-week operation, which ended in July 2012, targeted Omaha’s northeast precinct and resulted in more than 300 arrests, including the arrests of murder suspects Anthony Davis and Thomas Britt who were wanted in connection with the triple homicide of a father and his two sons. Authorities also seized 31 firearms, more than $17,000 in illegal drugs and more than $7,000 in U.S. currency.
Beyond these hard statistics, Martinez said there is a “sustainability factor” associated with these enforcement collaborations, a cost-effective benefit that’s not often touted publicly.
“The intensity with which these law enforcement officers worked with one another ensures that positive results will continue to be produced without having to spend additional dollars,” he said.
U.S. deputy marshals continue to work with OPD gang officers today, to curb crime in the Omaha metro area, sharing communications about crime suspects, wanted persons and intelligence gathering.
“A collaborative effort between local, state, and federal law enforcement officers strengthens the effectiveness of combating gang and gun violence by pulling resources, intelligence, tactics, and manpower into one large toolbox,” said Jaime Galindo, acting chief deputy for the U.S Marshals Service (USMS), District of Nebraska.
“The access to a wide variety of tools, for a specific problem, provides more opportunities to successfully reduce what the problem promotes.”
The U.S. Department of Justice initially launched Operation Triple Beam in 2010 to help state and local authorities locate and arrest violent gang fugitives and reduce violent gang crime.
The Omaha area was chosen, said Martinez, because of the USMS’s strong working relationship with area law enforcement, primarily through the work of the Metro Fugitive Task Force.
The Omaha Police Department described the project as innovative, focused and efficient, and said it took the Department’s working partnership with the U.S. Marshals Service to the next level.
“Deterring violent crime is a top priority of the Omaha Police Department. Having good working relationships with local municipalities and federal agencies is crucial for successful operations and allows us to maximize our resources,” said Lt. Shayna Ray of the Omaha Police Department gang unit.
Martinez said, “My hope is that the citizens of Omaha and the State of Nebraska understand and appreciate the dynamics of these win-win collaborations between federal, state and local law enforcement, especially the dividends that continue long after the conclusion of Operation Triple Beam and similar type operations. The most important dividends are safer communities.”