HOUSTON (CBS Houston) Houstonians are working hand-in-hand with Houston area local, state, and federal law enforcement officials in the fight against crime and it appears as if the joint efforts are paying off tremendously.
According to the FBI Houston Division, 35 gang fugitives featured on the www.stophoustongangs.org website, and publicized weekly by local media and on area billboards, have been captured within the past year.
“Since the website went public in September of 2010, more than 1700 tips have come in through the website, and more than 600 related arrests have been made. To date, the innovative website especially created to improve communication between law enforcement and the public, has been visited more than 200,000 times. Now, an enhanced partnership with Crime Stoppers will reward citizens with cash for tips that lead to an arrest or the filing of felony charges,” added officials with the FBI Houston Division.
The website which has proven to be an effective crime fighting tool, has reach that spans beyond Houston. It proves effective when wanted suspects are actively avoiding authorities and staying on the run.
“Wanted FBI fugitive Raul Sergio Madrigal was indicted on federal drug trafficking charges on January 14, 2009. Madrigal eluded authorities for more than three years and was believed to have fled the United States,” added officials.
After being featured and publicized as the website’s weekly most wanted fugitive on May 3, 2012, a promising tip was submitted to the website. On May 22, 2012, law enforcement authorities in Mexico, working together with agents from the FBI and DEA, arrested Madrigal in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico. He was extradited back to the United States on November 15, 2012. He is currently awaiting trial in Houston.”
The newest entity to the website is a link to Crime Stoppers of Houston. Crime Stoppers of Houston in most cases, pays up to $5,000 for information leading to the arrest and charging of any felony suspects. Tips can be submitted to Crime Stoppers of Houston by calling 713-222-TIPS (8477) or by texting TIP610 plus your tip to CRIMES (274637) or online Tipsters also remain anonymous.
According to officials, more than 20,000 documented gang members have affiliations with more than 300 active gangs. “There are approximately 1.4 million gang members belonging to more than 33,000 gangs in the United States,” added the FBI Houston Division.