106 Warrants Served in Rutherford County on 76 Individuals

            Residents of Hanover Apartments may be alive today because federal and local officers rounding up suspects discovered an apartment fire and rescued people living in the complex about 5:45 a.m. Wednesday.

            Teams of federal and local law enforcement officers began arresting suspects wanted on criminal arrest warrants about 4:30 a.m. Wednesday. As one team approached Hanover Apartments on Hanover Street , Rutherford County Sheriff’s Sgt. Lee Young spotted smoke inside an apartment.

            Sheriff’s Sgt. Jon Levi and sheriff’s Felony Arrest Search Team paramedic Chris Clark rushed inside the apartment where they found a mattress on fire but no one inside. Other officers on the team awoke residents and moved them to safety without injuries. Murfreesboro Fire and Rescue firefighters extinguished the fire and contained the flames to one apartment.

            If the team had not been there to serve warrants, Sgt. Levi believes the fire could have spread to the neighboring six to eight apartments and residents could have been injured or killed.

            “I do believe the good Lord put us there at that time, 5:45 in the morning,” Sgt. Levi said. “The reason was to find the fire.”

            Capt. Mike Fitzhugh, who supervised the roundup, said teams of U.S. Marshals, sheriff’s deputies, Murfreesboro and La Vergne Police, Tennessee Highway Patrol and Emergency Medical Services paramedics served 104 arrest warrants Wednesday morning and Thursday night during the two-day roundup. Three more suspects who heard about the roundup turned themselves in Friday morning.

             The sheriff’s office has a backlog of 23,672 criminal warrants. Patrol deputies and 11 deputies assigned to the Criminal and Civil Divisions attempt to serve the warrants daily. The number of warrants filed couple with suspects moving frequently and inaccurate addresses given on the arrest warrant sometimes makes it difficult to locate suspects. Teams conduct the roundups once or twice a year.

             Sheriff Robert Arnold thanked some 50 officers and their agencies before he joined them Thursday evening in the roundup.

            “It’s a big asset we’re working together,” Sheriff Arnold said. “The number one thing is to be safe. We want all of you to go home to your family tonight.”

            During Thursday night’s roundup, Capt. Fitzhugh said officers found felony amounts of illegal drugs in plain view inside homes that resulted in more charges. In one home, officers found two large marijuana plants and a large amount of exposed needles where a young child lived. Child endangerment charges were filed against parents.

            The Department of Children’s Services was notified about the case. Sheriff’s narcotics detectives launched an investigation.

            One of the suspects located was on the Top 10 list for the sheriff’s office. Another suspect was wanted on 10 separate charges.

            Capt. Fitzhugh said when officers found a suspect didn’t live at a certain address, the sheriff’s Records Division employees tried to research the suspect and locate another address.

            “Without the help of the other agencies, it is impossible for us to do this,” Capt. Fitzhugh said. “We’re going to continue until we get them served.”

            Sheriff Arnold said suspects who know they have warrants on them may turn themselves in anytime at the Rutherford County Adult Detention Center at 940 New Salem Highway in Murfreesboro .

            “Turn yourself in before we knock on your door,” Sheriff Arnold said.

Capt. Mike Fitzhugh said, “The teams served 106 warrants on 76 suspects. Twenty-two were felony warrants.”

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