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U.S. Marshals round up 3,743 drug suspects

An operation dubbed Southern Star led to the capture of 3,743 drug suspects who were tracked across 32 states and through foreign countries, U.S. Attorney General Dick Thornburgh announced Wednesday. Fugitives on state, federal and international charges from New Zealand to Bermuda were rounded up in the 10-week effort, along with $5.5-million in cash and property and $7.3-million worth of drugs, guns and other contraband.

Thornburgh said the sweep marked a new level of coordination between the U.S. Marshal's Service and 28 state and local agencies in the war on drugs.

But he conceded that the federal government was not in a position to say it had cut into drug sales in the United States.

The sweep concentrated on five metropolitan areas _ Miami, Houston, San Antonio, San Diego and Los Angeles _ and on fugitives who had jumped bond, Thornburgh said.

Eleven of those arrested were wanted for homicides.