Durbin Decries Failure to Apprehend International Fugitives in IL.
By Ellen Cannon
In letters written today to Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez, Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart, Chicago Police Department Superintendent Garry McCarthy and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, Senator Dick Durbin,(D-IL) called for an integrated “action plan” by Federal and local law enforcement officials aimed at locking up international fugitives wanted for committing serious crimes in Illinois. The crimes include murder, rape and other violent offenses.
Based on recent findings in an ongoing series in the Chicago Tribune, Durbin emphasized the extent of the problem and the continued failure of coordination of law enforcement data and planning regarding international criminals fleeing Illinois largely into Mexico. In the letters to officials he writes, “The Tribune has identified more than 60 suspects charged with crimes such as murder, rape, and other offenses who have fled to Mexico, and data from the U.S. Department of Justice reveal that 129 suspects have fled Illinois across the border and remain at large. These numbers are unacceptably high. Worse, the Tribune’s description of specific cases involving murder and sexual assault suspects suggests that criminal defendants attempting to flee the U.S. have few obstacles to stop them. Once outside of the U.S. it seems that too little is done to extradite them back to the U.S.” (Senator Dick Durbin,Letters to Eric Holder et.al, November 7,2011
The Chicago Tribune series on international fugitives gone wild, reveals extensive absence of coordination including only 2 of 129 fugitives known to the Department of Justice being cross-listed by Interpol. As noted by Senator Durbin’s office, “According to the Tribune report, the lack of apprehension of international fugitives may stem partly from the lack of coordination and information sharing between local, federal, and international law enforcement agencies.”(http://durbin.senate.gov. 11/7/11)
Senator Durbin has called for a meeting between federal, state, and local law enforcement officials to make sure that all efforts are coordinated in order to bring these dangerous fugitives to justice.
Senator Durbin, Assistant Majority Leader of the Senate, has introduced multiple legislative efforts on the issue of increasing fugitives who are arrested and prosecuted. His, Fugitive Information Networked Database Act of 2010,(FIND),exemplifies this effort. It aimed at coordinating state and local warrants into the national data base, increase the number of extraditions of fugitives caught in other states and to ascertain whether pretrial release programs are operating effectively. http://durbin.senate.gov11/7/11