FOX13 Investigates: Exclusive ride-along with fugitive task force

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Hundreds of violent criminals are on the streets of Memphis, but nearly every day the U.S. Marshal's Fugitive Task Force is up before the sun to arrest wanted criminals.

On a foggy Friday morning, in a gas station parking lot, the eight men and women geared up, then huddled up, for their first target.

"Chris Diaz," said the Marshal who organized the case file.

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"His nickname is Psycho. He has a very extensive violent history, and we believe he is an MS-13 gang member."

Diaz's charges made him a priority for the fugitive task force.

Diaz was wanted for four counts of Aggravated Robbery, three counts of Attempted 2nd degree Murder, three counts of Attempted Aggravated Robbery, three counts of Employing a firearm to commit a felony, one count of Threat to do bodily harm and one count of Carjacking.

Criminals like Diaz are the norm though.

"We try to pick cases that are significant. We only deal with violent crimes or sexual crimes."

The Marshals got intel that Diaz was back from Florida and staying at his Mom's Shelby County apartment.

Around 6:30 a.m. the Marshals began knocking, loudly.

No one answered the door for minutes. Finally, the Diaz family came outside but not Chris. He was hiding in a closet.

The U.S. Marshals went in, riot shield up, and took him into custody without incident.

For every violent criminal that gets locked up, another is still out on the streets.

"There's only so many of us and we do the best we can," said Seth Bruce, Deputy U.S. Marshal with the Gulf Coast Regional Fugitive Task Force.

The task force is made up of mostly U.S. Marshals, but they also have members of the Memphis Police Department, Shelby County Sheriffs Office, and the Department of Corrections.

Seth Bruce said the multiple agencies helps the Marshals better communicate about which violent offenders to take down.

With so many, the task force prioritizes their targets.

"One [factor] is the severity of the crime, and the other is how likely we think someone is at the place," said Bruce.

The Marshals hit their next place quickly

One of the biggest misconceptions about life as a Marshal is that it is always fast paced arrests.

"It's not always like something you see on a movie. There's a lot of paperwork involved," said Bruce.

There are a lot of dead-ends involved too. During two of the three door knocks, no one answered.

One of the suspects turned himself in though one week later.

In June alone the Gulf Coast Regional Fugitive Task Force arrested 64 people on 89 warrants.

The numbers don't matter though, there is always more work to be done and more criminals to get off the streets.