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Minnesota Legislature

Fugitive unit and search warrants

Published (2/24/2012)
By Sue Hegarty
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To save time and perhaps nab more fugitives, officers from the Minnesota Department of Corrections Fugitive Apprehension Unit would like the ability to apply for search warrants.

Current law prohibits them from doing so and results in pulling an officer off other duties from the agency with primary jurisdiction.

That would change under HF1938, which was laid over Feb. 21 for possible inclusion in a House Public Safety and Crime Prevention Policy and Finance Committee omnibus bill. Committee Chairman Rep. Tony Cornish (R-Vernon Center) sponsors the bill. The companion, SF2028, sponsored by Sen. John Harrington (DFL-St. Paul), awaits action in the Senate Judiciary and Public Safety Committee.

The unit arrests an annual average of

400 convicted felons with outstanding warrants and assists the U.S. Marshals fugitive task force, according to Cari Gerlicher, DOC director of the Office of Special Investigations. The search warrants are necessary for locating cell phones that aid in capturing a fugitive, Gerlicher said.

Cornish called the bill an “efficiency measure.”

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