Managing a district that encompasses the largest shared border with a foreign country would be difficult in itself. But that challenge is only amplified by the drug wars along the Mexican border, said Supervisory Deputy U.S. Marshal Thomas Smith in the Western District of Texas.
“The majority of the crime is related to drugs, even the homicides are related to drugs. There’s a lot of activity,” said Smith, who is based out of San Antonio.
Smith was honored with a special achievement award from U.S. Marshal Director John Clark for his leadership of the Lone Star Fugitive Task Force at a U.S. Marshal awards ceremony Tuesday. Smith’s district covers the most border with Mexico of any state and the task force continues to achieve a record number of arrests with more than 25,000 arrests in five years. Smith also has overseen the capture of two fugitives from the San Antonio Division’s 15 most wanted list.
The U.S. Marshals commended Smith for his cooperative efforts in the law enforcement community and his strong rapport with local media outlets. He was also recognized for epitomizing “the image and stellar reputation of legendary Deputy U.S. Marshals for their focused, unrelenting pursuit of criminals.”
Smith said working with local law enforcement officials was essential to the mission of the Lone Star Fugitive Task Force.
“The success of all this is because of our partners in the state and local community,” Smith said. “They work with us, we treat them as equals, we’re all in it together and they really respect that. They don’t really look at us as a federal agency. They accept us more than they would another federal agency. That’s a testament to the temperament and the personality of the deputy U.S. Marshals and the administrative staff of the Marshals Service as a whole.”