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“Half of a Dozen” Murder & Attempted Murder Suspects in Custody Thanks to Operation Intercept

Greenville, SC – For the last 13 days Operation Intercept (OPIN), the U.S. Marshals fugitive task force, has proven the cooperation with state and local agencies can bring wanted men to justice. Starting with the most recent arrest of Laquiz Irby on March 21, OPIN has assisted the Anderson Police Department since December 16, 2011 in tracking Irby to Atlanta, GA and back to the upstate area where he was ultimately apprehended. Irby along with codefendants shot their victim twice during an attempted armed robbery on November 13, 2011. Irby is housed at the Anderson County Detention center on a $75,000 bond.

Also on March 21, OPIN aided Greenville Police Department with the location and arrest of Roy Gene Sutherland. Southerland was wanted for Attempted Murder after he allegedly “cut” his victim with a knife during a robbery on March 12. Greenville Police contacted OPIN on March 16 and requested assistance with the case.

Information was developed by OPIN showing Sutherland was hiding out in Spartanburg area. OPIN acting on the provided statement found Sutherland hiding out on Halibut Lane in Spartanburg and transported him to the Greenville County Detention Center where he received No Bond and is awaiting upcoming court appearances.

On Tuesday March 20, Charles Allen Brown Jr., a Michigan fugitive was captured at a family associates home in Greenville. The Grand Rapids Fugitive Task Force contacted OPIN on March 16, stating a tip was provided showing Brown had fled to the “south area”. It was later developed by OPIN; Brown had family friends in the Greenville area. Brown was sought by the Kentwood Police Department in Kent, MI for an alleged Murder stemming from an incident on March 15 where he shot his victim after a drug deal. According to Michigan records Brown is a Habitual Offender and can face Life in prison if convicted. Brown is housed at the Greenville County Detention Center where he awaits extradition proceedings.

OPIN was contacted on March 16, by Greenville County Sheriff’s Office to aid in the investigation of Reginald Terrell Wheeler and Michael Alan Wheeler, Jr for the alleged Attempted Murder and Weapons Charges stemming from warrants issued by Greenville County. OPIN obliged and accepted the cases and set up surveillance on locations where the Wheeler brothers were known to frequent. On March 19, the “waiting game” paid off when both individuals were taken into custody without incident at a local Bait & Tackle Shop near Whitehorse. Both suspects are housed at the Greenville County Detention Center where they will be arraigned of the outstanding charges.

Colby Kenta Thomas was wanted by Greenville Sheriff’s Office for 5 outstanding warrants to include Homicide and Attempted Homicide from a home invasion where shots were fired and one victim died and another seriously injured. Thomas was arrested by OPIN and Greenville County Sheriff’s Office on March 13, and is housed at the Greenville County Detention Center where he awaits further court hearings.

“The last two weeks have been stressful and exhausting for OPIN as we have aided many agencies in the captures of these wanted men. The cooperation with the upstate law enforcement partners from Anderson, Greenville, and Spartanburg Sheriff’s to the police officers working with Anderson and Greenville City, we salute your dedication to keeping your neighborhoods secure. The men and women of OPIN will work tirelessly to bring any fugitive to justice. If there is a need the US Marshals are willing to step in and solve violent fugitive cases. We will continue to work the days, nights, and weekends to track these defendants and bring them to justice.” stated Kelvin Washington, US Marshal for the District of South Carolina.

Established in 1789, the United States Marshals Service is the nation’s oldest federal law enforcement agency. In fiscal 2011, the Marshals arrested more than 36,200 federal fugitives, clearing 39,400 felony warrants and arrested 12,144 sex offenders. Marshal’s Service-led task forces like South Carolina’s Operation Intercept arrested 86,400 state and local fugitives, clearing 113,300 felony warrants. Locally, Operation Intercept arrested over 2,500 South Carolina fugitives during that same period.

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