ONONDAGA COUNTY, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — There are approximately 8,100 outstanding warrants in Onondaga County. A team of detectives with the Onondaga County Sheriff’s Office hunts for the county’s most wanted.
The Onondaga County Sheriff’s Warrants Unit is part of the Fugitive Task Force, made up of officers from the U.S Marshals, Syracuse Police, New York State Police, NYS Parole and the New York State Attorney General’s Office. It’s dangerous work.
“There’s an element of danger, anytime you’re doing police work,” says Sheriff’s Warrants Unit Supervisor Sgt. Mike Norton. “The people who are wanted, they know they may end up going to state prison, they are desperate and do a lot of things to stay out of prison.”
We witnessed the lengths one man would go to avoid capture. After we put NewsChannel 9 viewers On The Lookout for admitted crooked contractor Travis Carter, the Sheriff’s Warrants Unit tip line lit up. Just as tipsters reported, Carter was staying at a home in North Syracuse. When detectives arrived early in the morning, Carter hid in the trunk of a car in the garage of the home until detectives found him and ordered him out. Carter peacefully surrendered.
“This is how we want them all to go,” says Norton. “You put them on the air, we get some phone calls, we do our homework, we go to the location we think they are at, and take them into custody with no trouble.”
Norton says it should say to viewers that their phone calls are important and really matter.
“Sometimes it’s just that one tip,” says Warrants Detective Dan Tavolaro. “It might seem small or insignificant, but when you couple that tip with information and other tips we have, it can complete the puzzle.”
Digital Extra: Sometimes it takes time to catch a fugitive, but the detectives with the Onondaga County Sheriff’s Warrant are very patient and keep their heads on a swivel. Check out our digital extra below.
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For more local news, follow Christie Casciano on Twitter @CCascianoNC9