Under the Radar

'U.S. Marshals' Tells History of the Service



Mike Earp is the retired Associate Director of Operations of the U.S. Marshal Service and he's written a book with author David Fisher that tells the story of the organization. U.S. Marshals isn't really a memoir of Mike's career and it doesn't set out to be a comprehensive history. Instead, it's more of a collection of anecdotes from Earp and the colleagues he served with during an era when the Marshals saw their mission transformed by a generation of Vietnam veterans who entered the service.


The marshals have always been responsible for courtroom security and transport of prisoners, but, beginning at the end of the Carter administration, they began to take the lead in capturing fugitives from the FBI and the DEA. In 2012 alone, the U.S. Marshals tracked down and arrested 121,006, more than half of whom were classified as violent offenders.

Most of the stories in the book are about tracking those fugitives, beginning with the 1981 capture of Christopher Boyce, the notorious Soviet spy known as the Falcon. These first-hand accounts from Earp and his colleagues are never dull.


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