MILWAUKEE -- It is a job where the danger escalates in seconds. On a hot June morning, the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force joined multiple law enforcement officials for the takedown of a major heroin operation. FOX6's Angelica Sanchez was the only Milwaukee TV reporter along for the ride.
The objective every day for the elite team that is the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force is to safely arrest some of the most violent fugitives hiding from justice.
"Our nine-person team last year arrested 350 people, which is a tremendous amount for the small amount of dedicated investigators we have," said Supervisory Deputy U.S. Marshal Gary Enos.
The mission on a Monday in June was to dissolve a major drug operation stretching from Milwaukee County to Chicago.
"14 search warrants. There's going to be 11 targets for us. This is a drug case where there's potential for guns," said Enos.
Multiple law enforcement agencies collaborated for this round-up. Enos briefed the team.
"Make sure we have a strong perimeter. Majority of these houses are first party, so they're going to be quick," said Enos.
Enos is a fourth-generation police officer and a former member of the military.
The first stop was a home on Milwaukee's north side. The team quietly moved in -- prepared for any resistance. They soon learned their target wasn't there. Task force members said this is often the most frustrating part of the job.
The team then moved to the suburb of Glendale. The target in that case was home -- and was escorted away in handcuffs.
The next stop was an apartment building on Milwaukee's northwest side. The third target was handcuffed and placed inside a car. Then, a curve-ball was thrown the team's way. An unexpected assignment popped up.
"Target is standing out in front of the car. Let's rush him," said Enos.
A person inside a vehicle matched the description of their new target. It turned out, it was not him.
"We might look a little different sometimes because we're wearing green vests. Some people get intimidated by it, and it's understandable. Our ultimate objective is to keep the community safe and arrest fugitives," said a deputy U.S. Marshal.
The clock was ticking and the temperature was rising. No one wanted to risk word of the round-up spreading among the targets, so the team took a moment to regroup and share intelligence.
"Our task force is dynamic. We all team up. You have multiple personalities. I trust them with my life. This is a dangerous job sometimes," said a deputy U.S. Marshal.
The team's next suspect, the sixth target on the list, was not home, but Supervisor Enos left his number with a woman at the door.
The team had to move to another location -- and another -- with the sixth target still on their minds, and them on his. Unexpectedly, he called. The team returned to his home three different times while executing other warrants.
Enos remained in contact with the sixth target over the phone -- no tools, no shield, just strategy. His words convinced the wanted man to avoid fleeing. That allowed Enos' elite team to move in, and put another suspect in handcuffs.
By lunchtime, authorities held a news conference to announce what authorities uncovered during the drug bust -- heroin, 55 guns, hundreds of thousands in cash and more than targets off the streets.
"A successful week is nobody gets hurt -- including members of the public or our team -- and we put more bad guys in jail," said Enos.
FOX6 News is not naming or showing those arrested because a criminal complaint against them remains under seal.
So far this year, Wisconsin's Most Wanted has helped the U.S. Marshals arrest 18 fugitives.