200+ warrants served, 130+ arrested in response to gun violence in Roanoke

New partnership between police department, U.S. Marshals

ROANOKE, Va. – On Thursday, Roanoke leaders addressed the city’s recent uptick in gun violence.

Mayor Sherman Lea, Vice Mayor Joe Cobb, Police Chief Sam Roman and U.S. Marshals spoke at the news conference held at the Mill Mountain Star Overlook.

Through Operation Street Sweeper, 212 warrants were served and 138 people were apprehended.

“These warrants included homicide, malicious wounding, the distribution of illegal drugs, which in many cases fueled the violent crime we have seen recently," detailed Roanoke Police Chief Sam Roman.

“Just like you, I am frustrated and angry about this crisis of gun violence that is happening in our community," expressed Roanoke Mayor Sherman Lea.

The U.S. Marshal’s Capital Area Regional Fugitive Task Force assisted in this effort.

The operation resulted in the following:

  • 212 warrants served
  • 138 subjects apprehended
  • 18 firearms seized
  • $3,761 USC seized
  • 116.2g heroin seized
  • 458.6g methamphetamine seized
  • 2.73g crack seized
  • 1 vehicle seized

Moving forward, Lea said the city has three objectives: intervention, prevention and policing.

Vice Mayor Joe Cobb, chair of the city’s Gun Violence Task Force, detailed how his team is working collaboratively with the police department on intervention and prevention.

In the past, Roman has tied some of the recent violence to “gang culture.”

“Establishing law enforcement relationships along with our advocacy partners in making sure our younger generation understands that there are alternatives, positive alternatives outside of gang culture or criminal activity," explained Roman on what “gang culture” intervention looks like.

“We wanted to definitely hit the streets hard and serve these warrants and get these violent offenders in custody," stated U.S. Marshals Service Supervisory Deputy Frank Schermer.

The U.S. Marshals Service has 10-15 deputized officers within the Roanoke Police Department. Thanks to this initiative, deputies from other agencies, such as the Botetourt County Sheriff’s Office, Bedford County Sheriff’s Office and Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office stepped in to help.

“We are currently realigning our staff within the department and current resources to address those individuals," said Roman.


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