US Marshals Southern District of WV’s CUFFED Task Force recipient of national award

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The U.S. Marshals Southern District of West Virginia Cops United Felony Fugitive Enforcement Division Task Force, known as CUFFED, has received a national award for its work.

Michael Baylous, the US Marshal of Southern District of West Virginia stood outside of the Robert C. Byrd United States Courthouse in Charleston Tuesday with dozens of law enforcement officials to announce CUFFED received the 40th Director’s Honorary Distinguished Group Award.

The award recognizes groups whose extraordinary accomplishments have distinguished them among all others, a US Marshals release said. Baylous told MetroNews that the award going to this group did not surprise him.

“State, federal and local officers that work alongside the United States Marshal Service are the absolute best in their field. They are relentless when it comes to apprehending fugitives,” he said.

During the award period, which is one year, the CUFFED Task Force closed 15 homicide cases, and served a total of 630 felony warrants. The CUFFED Task Force also recovered 13 missing children during operations to expose child sex trafficking, a release stated. The district also received 46 collateral leads and sent 63 collateral leads totaling 109 cases sent to and requested by the district.

Baylous said the missing children recovered during the period stands out to him.

Agencies that make up the CUFFED Task Force are:

U.S. Marshals, ICE, Department of Interior Fish and Wildlife, West Virginia State Police, West Virginia Division of Corrections, Cabell County Sheriff’s Office, Fayette County Sheriff’s Office, Jackson County Sheriff’s Office ,Kanawha County Sheriff’s Office, Mason County Sheriff’s Office, Mercer County Sheriff’s Office, Mingo County Sheriff’s Office, Putnam County Sheriff’s Office, Raleigh County Sheriff’s Office, Roane County Sheriff’s Office, Wyoming County Sheriff’s Office, Barboursville Police Department, Beckley Police Department, Charleston Police Department, Ironton Police Department (Ohio), Princeton Police Department, Ravenswood Police Department, and Saint Albans Police Department.

Sam Cramblit, the Mayor of Ironton, Ohio and Joe Crawford, the police chief of St. Albans both spoke at the press conference.

“We accomplish so much more together in West Virginia when we all work together, no matter what the project is. This is a family that you’re seeing here today (Tuesday),” Baylous said.

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