Albany - - More than ten thousand of the nation's most violent criminals are now behind bars. Hundreds of those criminals are gang members, over a thousand are sex offenders and some of them were arrested right here in South Georgia.
They were America's most wanted. Now they're serving time.
"I have four grand kids and I want them to be safe to walk around here and not be afraid to walk in the yard," says Vandolyn Hunt who has lived in one of Albany's high crime public housing complexes for four years. She says criminals aren't kicking her out.
"It's a serious problem yes it is," says Dougherty County Sheriff Jamil Saba. He says cracking cold cases and finding fugitives are the department's top priorities.
Marked territory and graffiti are some of the tell-tell signs of gang activity, but one group of criminals whose signs are not as apparent is sexual predators.
"It could be your uncle. It could be anybody you never know you have to be careful," Hunt says.
So the U.S. Marshal's Office teamed with area Sheriff's Offices around the country. In Albany, officers arrested 22 fugitives in just two weeks.
One of them is Demetri Davis who failed to register as a Sex Offender, and hid from police for three years.
Robert Jackson moved to Tift County from South Carolina, lived there for 8 years but never registered as a sex offender.
Other South Georgia criminals, some gang members, are locked up for parole violations and drug activity.
"The U.S. Marshal Service, the citizens, all the state and local officers out here everyday, they're not going to let these guys keep going around. There's over a million warrants in the U.S. And we're trying to get them down as quick as we can get them locked up," says Deputy U.S. Marshal Jeff Crosby.
Added relief for people fed up with crime. Earlier this year, President Bush signed the Adam Walsh Act making it a federal felony for convicted sex offenders who fail to register. You may remember he's the little boy from Florida who was kidnapped, assaulted and beheaded.
His father is John Walsh of American's Most Wanted. Those offenders can face up to ten years in prison.
These agencies from the Middle District of Georgia participated in Operation FALCON-
City of Warner Robins Police Department
Columbus Police Department
Macon Police Department
Berrien County Sheriff's Office
Bibb County Sheriff's Office
Dougherty County Police Department
Dougherty County Sheriff's Office
Harris County Sheriff's Office
Houston County Sheriff's Office
Jones County Sheriff's Office
Muscogee County Sheriff's Office
Tifton County Sheriff's Office
Georgia Department of Corrections
Georgia State Board of Pardons and Paroles
Georgia State Patrol
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives