|United States Marshals Service|
|Common name||U.S. Marshals|
|Motto||Justice, Integrity, Service|
|Formed||September 24, 1789|
|Federal agency||United States|
|Operations jurisdiction||United States|
|Headquarters||Crystal City, Virginia, U.S.|
|Sworn members||94 marshals, 3,959 deputy marshals and criminal investigators|
|Parent agency||Department of Justice|
The United States Marshals Service (USMS) is a federal law enforcement agency in the United States. The USMS is a bureau within the U.S. Department of Justice, operating under the direction of the attorney general, but serves as the enforcement arm of the U.S. federal courts to ensure the effective operation of the judiciary and integrity of the Constitution. It is the oldest U.S. federal law enforcement agency, created by the Judiciary Act of 1789 during the presidency of George Washington as the "Office of the United States Marshal". The USMS as it stands today was established in 1969 to provide guidance and assistance to U.S. Marshals throughout the federal judicial districts.
The Marshals Service is primarily responsible for the protection of judges and other judicial personnel, the administration of fugitive operations, the management of criminal assets, the operation of the United States Federal Witness Protection Program and the Justice Prisoner and Alien Transportation System, the execution of federal arrest warrants, and the protection of senior government officials through the Office of Protective Operations. Throughout its history the Marshals have also provided unique security and enforcement services including protecting African American students enrolling in the South during the civil rights movement, escort security for United States Air Force LGM-30 Minuteman missile convoys, law enforcement for the United States Antarctic Program, and protection of the Strategic National Stockpile.
The office of United States Marshal was created by the First Congress. President George Washington signed the Judiciary Act into law on September 24, 1789. The Act provided that a United States Marshal's primary function was to execute all lawful warrants issued to him under the authority of the United States. The law defined marshals as officers of the courts charged with assisting federal courts in their law-enforcement functions:
And be it further enacted, That a marshal shall be appointed in and for each district for a term of four years, but shall be removable from office at pleasure, whose duty it shall be to attend the district and circuit courts when sitting therein, and also the Supreme Court in the district in which that court shall sit. And to execute throughout the district, all lawful precepts directed to him, and issued under the authority of the United States, and he shall have the power to command all necessary assistance in the execution of his duty, and to appoint as shall be occasion, one or more deputies.
Six days after signing the act into law, President Washington appointed the first thirteen U.S. Marshals, for each of the then extant federal districts. To each of his appointees for Marshal and District Attorney, the president addressed a form letter:
I have the pleasure to inform you that you are appointed (Marshal or Attorney) for the District of _______ and your Commission is enclosed, accompanied with such Laws as have passed relative to the Judicial Department of the United States. The high importance of the Judicial System in our National Government made it an indispensable duty to select such Characters to fill the several offices in it as would discharge their respective trust with honor to themselves and advantage to their Country.
For over 100 years marshals were patronage jobs, typically controlled by the district judge. They were paid primarily by fees until a salary system was set up in 1896.
Many of the first U.S. Marshals had already proven themselves in military service during the American Revolutionary War. Among the first marshals were John Adams's son-in-law Congressman William Stephens Smith for the District of New York, another New York district marshal, Congressman Thomas Morris, and Henry Dearborn for the District of Maine.
From the nation's earliest days, marshals were permitted to recruit special deputies as local hires, or as temporary transfers to the Marshals Service from other federal law-enforcement agencies. Marshals were also authorized to swear in a posse to assist with manhunts, and other duties, ad hoc. Marshals were given extensive authority to support the federal courts within their judicial districts, and to carry out all lawful orders issued by federal judges, Congress, or the President. Federal marshals were by far the most important government officials in territorial jurisdictions. Local law enforcement officials were often called "marshals" so there is often an ambiguity whether someone was a federal or a local official.
Federal marshals are most famous for their law enforcement work, but that was only a minor part of their workload. The largest part of the business was paper work—serving writs (e.g., subpoenas, summonses, warrants), and other processes issued by the courts, making arrests and handling all federal prisoners. They also disbursed funds as ordered by the courts. Marshals paid the fees and expenses of the court clerks, U.S. Attorneys, jurors, and witnesses. They rented the courtrooms and jail space, and hired the bailiffs, criers, and janitors. They made sure the prisoners were present, the jurors were available, and that the witnesses were on time.
The marshals thus provided local representation for the federal government within their districts. They took the national census every decade through 1870. They distributed presidential proclamations, collected a variety of statistical information on commerce and manufacturing, supplied the names of government employees for the national register, and performed other routine tasks needed for the central government to function effectively.
During the settlement of the American frontier, marshals served as the main source of day-to-day law enforcement in areas that had no local government of their own. U.S. Marshals were instrumental in keeping law and order in the "Old West" era. They were involved in apprehending desperadoes such as Bill Doolin, Ned Christie, and in 1893, the infamous Dalton Gang after a shoot-out that left dead Deputy Marshals Ham Hueston and Lafe Shadley, and posse member Dick Speed. Individual deputy marshals have been seen as legendary heroes in the face of rampant lawlessness (see Notable marshals below) with Wyatt Earp, Bat Masterson, Dallas Stoudenmire, and Bass Reeves as examples of well-known marshals. Bill Tilghman, Heck Thomas, and Chris Madsen formed a legendary law enforcement trio known as "Three Guardsmen" when they worked together policing the vast, lawless Oklahoma and Indian Territories.
Until its repeal in 1864, the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 tasked marshals to accept an affidavit on its face to recover a fugitive slave.
On October 26, 1881, Deputy U.S. Marshal Virgil Earp, his brothers, Special Deputy U.S. Marshals Morgan and Wyatt Earp, and Special Deputy U.S. Marshal John "Doc" H. Holliday gunned down Frank and Tom McLaury and Billy Clanton in the legendary gunfight at the O.K. Corral in Tombstone, Arizona.
In 1894, U.S. Marshals helped suppress the Pullman Strike.
During the 1920s, U.S. Marshals enforced Prohibition.
In the 1960s the marshals were on the front lines of the civil rights movement, mainly providing protection to volunteers. In September 1962, President John F. Kennedy ordered 127 marshals to accompany James Meredith, an African American who wished to register at the segregated University of Mississippi. Their presence on campus provoked riots at the university, but the marshals stood their ground, and Meredith registered. Marshals provided continuous protection to Meredith during his first year at Ole Miss, and Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy later proudly displayed a deputy marshal's dented helmet in his office. U.S. Marshals also protected black school children integrating public schools in the South. Artist Norman Rockwell's famous painting The Problem We All Live With depicted a tiny Ruby Bridges being escorted by four towering United States Marshals in 1964.
Until 1965, each U.S. district court hired and administered its own marshals independently from all others. In 1965, the Executive Office for U.S. Marshals, was created as "the first organization to supervise U.S. Marshals nationwide". The United States Marshals Service, a federal agency, was created in 1969.
Since June 1975, the Marshals Service have the mission of providing law enforcement support and escort security to United States Air Force LGM-30 Minuteman and missile systems from military facilities.
In 1985, the Marshals Service partnered with local Washington, D.C. law enforcement officers to create Operation Flagship, arresting fugitives using faked free tickets to a local American football game. In 1989, the Marshals Service was given the jurisdiction over crimes committed relating to U.S. personnel in Antarctica and has been doing so ever since.
During the 1992 Los Angeles riots, 200 deputy marshals of the tactical unit Special Operations Group were dispatched to assist local and state authorities in restoring peace and order throughout Los Angeles County, California.
Marshals have protected American athletes at Olympic Games, the refugee boy Elián González before his return to Cuba in 2000, and abortion clinics as required by federal law. In 2003, Marshals retrieved North Carolina's copy of the Bill of Rights.
In 2002, the Marshals Service was tasked by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to provide protective security and law enforcement capabilities in the protection of the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS), such as warehouses, materiel and CDC personnel during deployment. Marshals also provide secure transportation of critical medical supplies and bio-terrorism response resources throughout the nation. Senior Inspectors of the U.S. Marshals Service SNS Security Operations (SNSSO) Program have deployed to Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and responded during the H1N1 flu pandemic in 2009. SNSSO Senior Inspectors have also staffed National Security Special Events (NSSE) with their state, local and other federal partners on a regular basis.
In 2006, the Sex Offenders Investigations Branch (SOIB) was formed on July 27 with the passage of the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act (AWA). The SOIB carries out the USMS's three principal responsibilities under the AWA: assist state, local, tribal and territorial authorities in the location and apprehension of non-compliant and fugitive sex offenders; investigate violations of the act for federal prosecution, and assist in the identification and location of sex offenders relocated as a result of a major disaster. To ensure the safety of communities and children across the country, the USMS has implemented an aggressive enforcement strategy for its responsibilities under the AWA. This branch apprehends sex offenders, primarily those who prey on minors. Offenders are apprehended due to failure to register, among other things.
In February 2017, Marshals began providing protective security to United States Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, the first time since 2009 that a United States Cabinet-level official has been provided security by the Marshals.
Duties and responsibilities
The Marshals Service is responsible for apprehending wanted fugitives, providing protection for the federal judiciary, transporting federal prisoners, protecting endangered federal witnesses, and managing assets seized from criminal enterprises. The Marshals Service is responsible for 55.2% of arrests of federal fugitives. Between 1981 and 1985, the Marshals Service conducted Fugitive Investigative Strike Team operations to jump-start fugitive capture in specific districts. In 2012, U.S. marshals captured over 36,000 federal fugitives and cleared over 39,000 fugitive warrants.
The Marshals Service also executes all lawful writs, processes, and orders issued under the authority of the United States, and shall command all necessary assistance to execute its duties.
Historically, under Section 27 of the Judiciary Act of 1789 U.S. Marshals had the common law-based power to enlist any willing civilians as deputies for necessary assistance in the execution of their duties. In the Old West this was known as forming a posse, although under the Posse Comitatus Act, they could not use military troops in uniform representing their unit or the military service for law enforcement duties. However, if a service member was off duty, wearing civilian clothing, and willing to assist a law enforcement officer on their own behalf, it was acceptable. In contemporary times, the deputation of a civilian would be extraordinarily unusual. However, the Director of the United States Marshals Service currently has the statutory authority to deputize (for one year) selected officers of the United States Department of Justice; federal, state, or local law enforcement officers; employees of private security companies to provide courtroom security for the Federal judiciary; or other persons as designated by the United States Associate Attorney General.
Title 28 USC Chapter 37 § 564 authorizes United States Marshals, deputy marshals and such other officials of the Service as may be designated by the Director, in executing the laws of the United States within a State, to exercise the same powers which a sheriff of the State may exercise in executing the laws thereof.
Except for suits by incarcerated persons, non-prisoner litigants proceeding in forma pauperis, or (in some circumstances) by seamen, U.S. Marshals no longer serve leading process or subpoenas in private civil actions filed in the U.S. district courts. Under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, process may be served by any U.S. citizen over the age of 18 who is not a party involved in the case. The Marshals still levy executions and serve writs of garnishment.
Witness Protection Program
A chief responsibility of the Marshals is the United States Federal Witness Protection Program.
Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act of 2015
The Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act of 2015 amends the federal judicial code to authorize the United States Marshals Service to assist state, local, tribal, and other federal law enforcement agencies, upon request, in locating and recovering missing children. The JVTA establishes the Missing Child Unit (MCU) of USMS.
The Marshals Service publicizes the names of wanted persons it places on the list of U.S. Marshals 15 Most Wanted Fugitives, which is similar to and sometimes overlaps the FBI Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list or the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives Most Wanted List, depending on jurisdiction.
The 15 Most Wanted Fugitive Program was established in 1983 in an effort to prioritize the investigation and apprehension of high-profile offenders who are considered to be some of the country's most dangerous fugitives. These offenders tend to be career criminals with histories of violence or whose instant offense(s) pose a significant threat to public safety. Current and past fugitives in this program include murderers, sex offenders, major drug kingpins, organized crime figures, and individuals wanted for high-profile financial crimes.
The Major Case Fugitive Program was established in 1985 in an effort to supplement the successful 15 Most Wanted Fugitive Program. Much like the 15 Most Wanted Fugitive Program, the Major Case Fugitive Program prioritizes the investigation and apprehension of high-profile offenders who are considered to be some of the country's most dangerous individuals. All escapes from custody are automatically elevated to Major Case status.
Special Operations Group
The Special Operations Group (SOG) was created in 1971, and is the Marshals Service's tactical unit. It is a self-supporting response team capable of responding to emergencies anywhere in the U.S. or its territories.
Most of the deputy marshals who have volunteered to be SOG members serve as full-time deputies in Marshals Service offices throughout the nation, and they remain on call 24 hours a day. The SOG also maintains a small, full-time operational cadre stationed at the Marshals Service Tactical Operations Center at Louisiana National Guard Training Center Pineville, Louisiana, where all deputies undergo extensive, specialized training in tactics and weaponry.
Deputies must meet rigorous physical and mental standards. The group's missions include: apprehending fugitives, protecting dignitaries, providing court security, transporting high-profile and dangerous prisoners, providing witness security, and seizing assets.
Office of Protective Operations
The Office of Protective Operations (OPO) is the United States Marshals Service's preeminent expert on physical protection. OPO provides subject matter expertise, guidance, and direct action support to district offices on high-threat/-profile proceedings and risk-/threat-based protective operations. The footprint is national, covering all twelve federal judicial circuits across the country, with the ability to project globally.
These Senior Inspectors routinely deploy across the U.S. and around the globe to protect the DAG and Secretary of Education. They lead security for nominees to the U.S. Supreme Court through the pendency of the nomination, which are often fraught with threats of violence and protests. They also provide security for sitting U.S. Supreme Court Justices, when those Justices are farther than 50 miles from Washington, D.C., where the U.S. Supreme Court Police have statutory protection authority. As a result, they develop a deep expertise in protective operations and partner extensively with the U.S. Secret Service, Diplomatic Security Service, along with local, state, federal, and foreign law enforcement and security agencies.
Training and equipment
Marshals Service hiring is competitive and comparable to the selection process for Special Agent positions in sister agencies. Typically fewer than five percent of qualified applicants are hired and must possess at a minimum a four-year bachelor's degree or competitive work experience (which is usually three or more years at a local or state police department). While the USMS's hiring process is not entirely public, applicants must pass a written test, an oral board interview, an extensive background investigation, a medical examination and drug test, and multiple Fitness In Total (FIT) exams to be selected for training. Deputy U.S. Marshals complete a 18-week training program at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Glynco, Georgia.
Firearms and protective gear
The primary handgun for marshals are either a Glock 17M or Glock 19M. Deputy Marshals may also carry a backup gun, but it must meet certain requirements. Deputy Marshals are also equipped with body armor and collapsible batons for daily use, and ballistic shields, helmets, and protective goggles for serving high risk warrants.
Members of the U.S. Marshal SOG Teams are armed with The Staccato Model P 2011 pistols in 9mm Parabellum. They have both a full size with a red dot sight as well as a smaller, more concealable version for covert operations. In 2019, the SOG adopted the STI 2011, a 1911 platform of pistol that is modified for USMS SOG needs.
All marshals have a variety of AR-platform rifles, shotguns, and less-lethal options available for their use. Recently, the service has introduced a body-worn camera (BWC) program. Marshals are issued various body armor including a concealable vest, a tactical vest that accepts their soft-armor panels and rifle plates, as well as a rifle plate only carrier depending on their needs. Ballistic helmets and shields are also available.
The U.S. Marshals Service has planes registered under a front company named Early Detection Alarm Systems, which has an address of a UPS Store mailbox in Spring, Texas. This operation has been in place since at least 2007, and by 2014 were based in five airports across the country.
The planes tend to fly in a tight circle; GPS/radio trackers, cameras, video recorder, and video transmitter installations are documented. It is also presumed to include an IMSI-catcher such as the Stingray phone tracker or the Boeing DRTbox (Dirtbox), which are used by the Marshals' Technical Operations Group.
- Observed locations of U.S. Marshals planes
- Mexico states of Sinaloa and Durango during April–May, July, and November 2017, including during the capture of a Sinaloa Cartel member in El Dorado, Sinaloa on May 1, 2017
- Carver Shores, Orlando, Florida, January 2017
The Marshals Service is based in Arlington, Virginia, and, under the authority of the Attorney General, is headed by a director, who is assisted by a deputy director. The Director is supervised by the Deputy Attorney General. The Marshals Service headquarters provides command, control, and cooperation for the disparate elements of the service.
- Director of the U.S. Marshals Service
- Chief of Staff
- Office of General Counsel
- Office of Equal Employment Opportunity
- Deputy Director of the U.S. Marshals Service
- Chief of District Affairs
- Office of Professional Responsibility
- Associate Director for Operations
- Judicial Security Division
- Investigative Operations Division
- Witness Security Division
- Tactical Operations Division
- Prisoner Operations Division
- Justice Prisoner and Alien Transportation System
- Chief Financial Officer
- Financial Services Division
- Associate Director for Administration
- Training Division
- Human Resources Division
- Information Technology Division
- Office of Public and Congressional Affairs
- Management Support Division
- Asset Forfeiture Division
- Chief of Staff
Federal judicial districts
The U.S. court system is divided into 94 federal judicial districts, each with a district court (except the territory of Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, which share a U.S. Marshal). For each district there is a presidentially-appointed and Senate-confirmed United States marshal, a Chief Deputy U.S. Marshal (GS-14 or 15) (and an Assistant Chief Deputy U.S. Marshal in certain larger districts), Supervisory Deputy U.S. Marshals (GS-13), and as many deputy U.S. Marshals (GS-7 and above) and special deputy U.S. Marshals as needed. In the United States federal budget for 2005, funds for 3,067 deputy marshals and criminal investigators were provided. The U.S. Marshal for each United States courts of appeals (the 13 circuit courts) is the U.S. Marshal in whose district that court is physically located.
The director and each United States Marshal are appointed by the President of the United States and subject to confirmation by the U.S. Senate. The District U.S. Marshal is traditionally appointed from a list of qualified law enforcement personnel for that district or state. Each state has at least one district, while several larger states have three or more.
- The director (Ronald L. Davis): originally titled the Chief United States Marshal, overall head of the USMS and overseer of the Marshals.
- The deputy director (Roberto Robinson): principal deputy and first in line of succession to the director.
- United States Marshal: the top executive of the Marshals Service in each of the 94 federal judicial districts, appointed by the president subject to confirmation by the senate
- Chief Deputy United States Marshal: the senior career manager for the federal judicial district who is responsible for management of the Marshals office and staff
- Supervisory Deputy United States Marshal, responsible for the supervision of three or more deputy U.S. Marshals and clerks
- Deputy United States Marshal: for all nonsupervisory positions
Deputy U.S. Marshals start their careers at the GS-7 pay grade. After the first year in grade, they are promoted to GS-9, then to GS-11 after a second year, and then to GS-12 after a third year. Once deputies reach the GS-11 pay grade, they are reclassified as 1811 Criminal Investigators. Criminal Investigators work additional hours and receive an additional 25% Law Enforcement Availability Pay on top of their base pay.
Duties performed include criminal investigations, execution of warrants, and other investigative operations. They also protect government officials, process seized assets of crime rings for investigative agencies, and relocate and arrange new identities for federal witnesses in the United States Federal Witness Protection Program, which is headed by the USMS. After Congress passed the Adam Walsh Act, the U.S. Marshals Service was chosen to head the new federal sex offender tracking and prosecution team.
Special Deputy Marshals
The Director of the United States Marshals Service is authorized to deputize the following persons to perform the functions of a Deputy U.S. Marshal in any district designated by the Director:
- Selected officers or employees of the Department of Justice;
- Selected federal, state, or local law enforcement officers whenever the law enforcement needs of the U.S. Marshals Service so require;
- Selected employees of private security companies in providing courtroom security for the Federal judiciary;
- Other persons designated by the Associate Attorney General pursuant to 28 CFR 0.19(a)(3).
Coast Guard as Deputy Marshals
Court Security Officers
Court Security Officers (CSOs) are contracted former law enforcement officers who receive limited deputations as armed Special Deputy Marshals and play a role in courthouse security. Using security screening systems, Court Security Officers attempt to detect and intercept weapons and other prohibited items that individuals attempt to bring into federal courthouses. There are more than 5,000 Court Security Officers with certified law enforcement experience deployed at more than 400 federal court facilities in the United States and its territories.
Detention Enforcement Officers
DEOs (1802s) are responsible for the care of prisoners in USMS custody. They also are tasked with the responsibility of conducting administrative remedies for the U.S. Marshal. DEOs can be seen transporting, booking and securing federal prisoners while in USMS custody. They also provide courtroom safety and cell block security.
Detention enforcement officers are deputized and fully commissioned federal law enforcement officers by the U.S. Marshal. They are authorized to carry firearms and conduct all official business on behalf of the agency. Not all districts employ detention enforcement officers.
The Marshal Service has the positions of Inspector, Senior Inspector and Chief Inspector, depending on the duties and position to which a Deputy Marshal has been assigned to. This title was created for promotions within the service usually for senior non-supervisory personnel. Senior Deputy Marshals assigned to regional fugitive task forces or working in special assignments requiring highly skilled criminal investigators often receive the title Inspector. Operational non-supervisory employees assigned to the Witness Protection Program are given the title Senior Inspector. Deputy Marshals assigned to the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) department within the USMS also hold the title of Senior Inspector. Senior Inspectors receive a GS-13 pay grade level.
More than 200 U.S. Marshals, deputy marshals, and special deputy marshals have been killed in the line of duty since Marshal Robert Forsyth was shot dead by an intended recipient of court papers in Augusta, Georgia, on January 11, 1794. He was the first U.S. federal law enforcement officer to be killed in the line of duty. The dead are remembered on an Honor Roll permanently displayed at Headquarters.
Notable marshals and deputy marshals
- Nathaniel P. Banks (1816–1894) U.S. Marshal for Massachusetts 1879-1888
- Jesse D. Bright (1812–1875), U.S. Marshal for Indiana; later served as U.S. senator for that state
- Seth Bullock (1849–1919), businessman, rancher, sheriff for Montana, sheriff of Deadwood, South Dakota, U.S. Marshal of South Dakota
- John F. Clark, U.S. Marshals Service Director and U.S. Marshal for the Eastern District of Virginia
- Charles Francis Colcord (1859–1934), rancher, businessman and U.S. Marshal for Oklahoma
- Phoebe Couzins (1839–1913), lawyer, first woman appointed to the U.S. Marshals
- Henry Dearborn (1751–1829), U.S. Marshal for the District of Maine
- Frederick Douglass (1818–1895), former slave and noted abolitionist leader, appointed U.S. Marshal for the District of Columbia in 1877
- Morgan Earp (1851–1882), Deputy U.S. Marshal, Tombstone, Arizona, appointed by his brother Wyatt
- Virgil Earp (1843–1905), Deputy U.S. Marshal, Tombstone, Arizona
- Wyatt Earp (1848–1929), Deputy U.S. Marshal (appointed to his brother Virgil Earp's place by the Arizona Territorial Governor)
- Frank Eaton (1860–1958), Deputy U.S. Marshal for Judge Isaac C. Parker, author, cowboy, scout, Indian fighter, and mascot for Oklahoma State University ("Pistol Pete")
- Richard Griffith (1814–1862), Brigadier General for the Confederacy during the Civil War
- Wild Bill Hickok (1837–1876), noted Western lawman; served as a Deputy U.S. Marshal at Fort Riley, Kansas 1867–1869
- Ward Hill Lamon (1826–1893), friend, and frequent bodyguard of President Abraham Lincoln, who appointed him U.S. Marshal for the District of Columbia
- J. J. McAlester (1842–1920), U.S. Marshal for Indian Territory (1893–1897), Confederate Army captain, merchant in and founder of McAlester, Oklahoma as well as the developer of the coal mining industry in eastern Oklahoma, one of three members of the first Oklahoma Corporation Commission (1907–1911) and the second Lieutenant Governor of Oklahoma (1911–1915)
- Benjamin McCulloch (1811–1862), U.S. Marshal for Eastern District of Texas; became a brigadier general in the army of the Confederate States during the American Civil War
- Henry Eustace McCulloch (1816–1895), U.S. Marshal for Eastern District of Texas. Brother of Benjamin McCulloch; also a Confederate General
- James J. P. McShane (1909–1968), appointed U.S. Marshal for the District of Columbia by President John F. Kennedy then named chief marshal in 1962
- John W. Marshall, U.S. Marshal for the Eastern District of Virginia (1994–1999), first African-American to serve as Director of the U.S. Marshals Service (1999–2001)
- Bat Masterson (1853–1921), noted Western lawman; deputy to U.S. Marshal for Southern District of New York, appointed by Theodore Roosevelt
- Joseph Meek (1810–1875), territorial marshal for Oregon
- Thomas Morris (1771–1849), U.S. Marshal for New York District
- David Neagle (1847–1925), shot former Chief Justice of California David S. Terry to protect US Supreme Court Justice Stephen Johnson Field, resulting in U.S. Supreme Court decision In re Neagle
- John L. Pascucci (1948–present), former Chief of International Operations for the U.S. Marshals Service and author of The Manhunter: The Astounding True Story of the U.S. Marshal Who Tracked Down the World's Most Evil Criminals. Charged with extortion in 1989.
- Bob Pavlak (1924–1994), U.S. Marshal for the District of Minnesota and Minnesota legislator
- Henry Massey Rector (1816–1899), U.S. Marshal for Arkansas, later governor of that state
- Bass Reeves (July 1838 – January 1910) is thought by most to be one of the first Black men to receive a commission as a Deputy U.S. Marshal west of the Mississippi River. Before he retired from federal service in 1907, Reeves had arrested over 3,000 felons.
- Porter Rockwell (c.1813–1878), Deputy U.S. Marshal for Utah
- William Stephens Smith (1755–1816), 1789 U.S. Marshal for New York district and son-in-law of President John Adams
- Dallas Stoudenmire (1845–1882), successful city marshal who tamed and controlled the remote, wild and violent town of El Paso, Texas; became U.S. Marshal serving West Texas and New Mexico Territory just before his death
- Heck Thomas (1850–1912), Bill Tilghman (1854–1924), and Chris Madsen (1851–1944), the legendarily fearless "Three Guardsmen" of the Oklahoma Territory
- William F. Wheeler (1824–1894), U.S. Marshal for the Montana Territory
- Cal Whitson (1845–1926), one-eyed Deputy U.S. Marshal for the Oklahoma Territory; served as the basis for the character Rooster Cogburn of the novel and films True Grit
- James E. Williams (1930–1999), U.S. Marshal for South Carolina, Medal of Honor recipient
Criticism and controversy
Inspector General audits
An audit by the Office of Inspector General (OIG) (November 2010) of the Justice Department found "weaknesses in the USMS's efforts to secure federal court facilities in the six USMS district offices we visited". The report found, among other things, that the Marshals Service's Judicial Security Division had contracted private security firms to provide Court Security Officers without having completed background checks. Another incident involved the Marshals Service awarding a $300 million contract to a security guard company named USProtect Corporation, which had a known history of numerous criminal activities leading to convictions for mail fraud and bank fraud and false insurance claims in addition to a civil judgment against its chief financial officer. Technical problems included court security officers not being properly trained on security screening equipment, which also meant equipment not being used. The OIG noted that in February 2009, several courthouses failed to detect mock explosives sent by Marshals Service Headquarters in order to test security procedures. They also found that 18% of court security officers had outdated firearms qualifications.
On March 26, 2009, the body of Deputy U.S. Marshal Vincent Bustamante was discovered in Juárez, Mexico, according to the Marshals Service. Bustamante, who was accused of stealing and pawning government property, was a fugitive from the law at the time of his death. Chihuahua State Police said the body had multiple wounds to the head – apparently consistent with an execution-style shooting.
In January 2007, Deputy U.S. Marshal John Thomas Ambrose was charged with theft of Justice Department property, disclosure of confidential information, and lying to federal agents during an investigation. Deputy Ambrose had been in charge of protecting mobster-turned-informant Nicholas Calabrese, who was instrumental in sending three mob bosses to prison for life. A federal jury convicted Ambrose on April 27, 2009, of leaking secret government information concerning Calabrese to William Guide, a family friend and former Chicago police officer who had also served time in prison for corruption. Ambrose also was convicted of theft of government property but acquitted of lying to federal agents. On October 27, 2009, Ambrose was sentenced to serve four years in prison.
In 1998, retired Chief Deputy U.S. Marshal Matthew Fogg won a landmark EEO and Title VII racial discrimination and retaliation lawsuit against the Justice Department, for which he was awarded $4 million. The jury found the entire Marshals Service to be a "racially hostile environment" which discriminates against black employees in its promotion practices. U.S. District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson summarized the jurors' decision by stating that they felt there was an "atmosphere of racial disharmony and mistrust within the United States Marshal Service". As of 2011, Fogg is president of "Bigots with Badges", and executive director of CARCLE (Congress Against Racism and Corruption in Law Enforcement), and is also associated with Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP), a drug law reform organization of law enforcement officers.
In September 2023, U.S. Marshals Service settled a $15 million, nearly 30-year-old EEOC class action lawsuit filed by Matthew Fogg in January, 1994. Alleging discrimination against African-American Deputy U.S. Marshal applicants, employees and Detention Officers with regards to hiring, promotions, recruitment and headquarter assignments.</ref> https://www.usmarshals.gov/news/press-release/us-marshals-service-reaches-settlement-class-action-lawsuit.
The Department of Justice under Janet Reno acknowledged wrongdoing in U.S. marshals decisions surrounding a firefight at Ruby Ridge in 1992, where a deputy U.S. marshal shot 14-year-old Samuel Weaver in the back. Afterwards, deputy U.S. marshals became involved in a gunfight with Weaver's father, who was wanted on a federal warrant for failure to appear, and another person. Deputy United States marshals dispute this claim. Deputy U.S. marshal Billy Deegan was killed during a surveillance operation after identifying himself as a federal agent. This led to an extended gunfight in which both sides fired several rounds. Samuel Weaver was shot and killed. His body was taken to a small building for more than a week and an autopsy was unable to determine entry and exit wounds (see Idaho Federal Court Transcripts for clarification of this incident). Newsweek described the incident as "one of the most shameful episodes in the history of American law enforcement".
In popular culture
- Deputy Marshal Raylan Givens stars in the modern western crime TV series Justified and the spin-off miniseries Justified: City Primeval, both of which are based on Elmore Leonard stories.
- Deputy Marshal Karen Sisco stars in the crime comedy film Out of Sight, and a spin-off crime drama TV series, Karen Sisco. The character, created by Elmore Leonard, also appeared in a season 3 episode of Justified, while a second character, a police detective from Out of Sight, also appears in Justified: City Primeval.
- Deputy Marshal Matt Dillon stars in the Western drama radio and television series Gunsmoke.
- Deputy Marshal Mary Shannon stars in the crime drama TV series In Plain Sight
- Deputy Marshal "Rooster" Cogburn stars in the western drama films True Grit (1969), Rooster Cogburn and True Grit (2010)
- Deputy Marshals Wyatt Earp and his brothers Virgil and Morgan, all based on real life U.S. Marshals, star in the western drama film Tombstone, one of many films and TV shows to star the Earp brothers, that also include Newton, James and Warren Earp. Another such film is the biographical western drama Wyatt Earp, which cast most of the Earp family and followed Wyatt and his brothers from their childhood on their parent's farm to adulthood and becoming lawmen.
- Deputy Marshal J.D. Cahill stars in the western drama film Cahill U.S. Marshal.
- Supervisory Deputy Marshal Samuel Gerard stars in the action thriller films The Fugitive, and its spin-off U.S. Marshals
- Deputy Marshal Carrie Stetko stars in the crime thriller graphic novel Whiteout, as the lone Deputy Marshal assigned to Amundsen–Scott South Pole Station in Antarctica.
- Deputy Marshal Winston MacBride stars in the action drama series The Marshal, as a lone marshal pursuing fugitives across the country.
- Deputy Marshal Vince Larkin stars in the action film Con Air, which largely takes place aboard a hijacked Marshal Service prisoner transport plane, nicknamed "Con Air".
- Deputy Marshal Annie Frost stars alongside a group of Marshals out of Houston who form the Fugitive Apprehension Team on the drama series Chase.
- A team of Deputy Marshals star in the action comedy TV series Eagleheart
- Retired U.S. Marshal James Anderson is a main character in video game Outlaws.
- 28 U.S.C. ch. 37
- "Fact Sheet: United States Marshals Service". U.S. Marshals Service. Archived from the original (PDF) on May 11, 2011. Retrieved June 17, 2011.
- 28 U.S.C. § 561
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- "U.S. Marshals Celebrate 225 Years of Service". Department Of Justice. Archived from the original on December 4, 2014. Retrieved October 30, 2014.
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- "U.S. Marshals Service: Historical Timeline". www.usmarshals.gov. Archived from the original on May 13, 2022. Retrieved May 13, 2022.
President George Washington appointed the first 13 U.S. Marshals following the passage of the first Judiciary Act.
- "History - The Judiciary Act of 1789: Charter for U.S. Marshals and Deputies: Appointment of the First 13 Marshals". Usmarshals.gov. June 16, 2020. Archived from the original on July 5, 2022. Retrieved May 12, 2022.
- "United States Marshals and Their Deputies: 1789-1989". U.S. Marshals Service. June 15, 2020. Archived from the original on March 25, 2023. Retrieved March 25, 2023.
- Ball, Larry D. (1978). The United States Marshals of New Mexico and Arizona Territories, 1846-1912. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press. ISBN 9780826306173.
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- "United States Marshals Service". United States Department of Justice. August 13, 2007. Archived from the original on May 27, 2010. Retrieved June 9, 2010.
- Turk, David S. (2016). Forging the star : the official modern history of the United States Marshals Service. Denton, Texas: University of North Texas Press. ISBN 9781574416541.
- Emery, Debbie (September 12, 2017). "ESPN's '30 for 30' Short 'Strike Team' Recalls How US Marshals Lured Fugitives With NFL Tickets". Archived from the original on March 1, 2023. Retrieved March 1, 2023.
- "U.S. Marshals make legal presence in Antarctica". United States Marshals Service. Archived from the original on February 5, 2012. Retrieved January 8, 2007.
- Lieberman, Paul; Murphy, Dean E. (May 2, 1992). "King case aftermath: A city in crisis". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on February 21, 2020. Retrieved February 21, 2020.
- Johnston, David (August 2, 1994). "Marshals Sent to a Dozen Abortion Clinics in Drive to Halt Violence". The New York Times. Archived from the original on September 26, 2022. Retrieved September 26, 2022.
- Thomas, Pierre (August 2, 1994). "U.S. Marshals Dispatched to Guard Abortion Clinics". The Washington Post. Retrieved September 26, 2022.
- "Judge Orders U.S. Marshals to Prevent Closing of Abortion Clinics". The New York Times. Associated Press. July 30, 1991. Archived from the original on September 26, 2022. Retrieved September 26, 2022.
- "Preparing for the World: Homeland Security and Winter Olympics". The White House (Press release). January 10, 2002. Archived from the original on June 4, 2022. Retrieved March 25, 2023.
- Bragg, Rick (April 23, 2000). "The Elian Gonzalez Case: The Overview; Cuban Boy Seized by U.S. Agents and Reunited With His Father". The New York Times. Archived from the original on December 27, 2022. Retrieved March 25, 2023.
- McGreal, Chris (June 1, 2009). "Security stepped up at abortion clinics in US after killing of Dr George Tiller". The Guardian. Archived from the original on September 26, 2022. Retrieved September 26, 2022.
- Luning, Ernest (May 31, 2009). "Attorney general directs U.S. marshals to protect abortion clinics, providers". Colorado Independent. Archived from the original on September 26, 2022. Retrieved September 26, 2022.
- "History in Custody: The U.S. Marshals Service Takes Possession of North Carolina's Copy of the Bill of Rights". United States Marshals Service. June 19, 2020. Archived from the original on January 25, 2021. Retrieved January 18, 2021.
- "Operations Support Division" (PDF). United States Marshals Service. Archived from the original (PDF) on February 11, 2017. Retrieved January 7, 2018.
- "The U.S. Marshals Service, Strategic National Stockpile Security Operations". Sheriff Magazine. Archived from the original on January 7, 2018. Retrieved January 7, 2018.
- Service (USMS), U. S. Marshals. "U.S. Marshals Service". www.usmarshals.gov. Archived from the original on October 19, 2017. Retrieved February 11, 2021.
- Douglas-Gabriel, Danielle; Brown, Emma (February 17, 2017). "Betsy DeVos being guarded by U.S. Marshals Service". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on February 20, 2017. Retrieved March 25, 2023.
- "Fires, Looting, Tear Gas: DC in Turmoil Following 3rd Night of Protests". NBC4 Washington. Associated Press. June 1, 2020. Archived from the original on March 20, 2023. Retrieved March 25, 2023.
In a rare move, US Marshals and DEA agents were activated to assist police.
- Macias, Amanda; Mangan, Dan (January 6, 2021). "U.S. Capitol secured hours after pro-Trump rioters invade Congress". CNBC. Archived from the original on January 7, 2021. Retrieved January 7, 2021.
- "Strategic Plan: 2012 - 2016" (PDF). U.S. Marshals Service. U.S. Department of Justice. Archived from the original (PDF) on April 12, 2019. Retrieved February 28, 2019.
- "Facts and Figures 2013" (PDF). U.S. Marshals Service. Archived from the original (PDF) on May 17, 2013. Retrieved April 22, 2013.
- "History - Oldest Federal Law Enforcement Agency". United States Marshal's Service. Archived from the original on May 1, 2021. Retrieved May 26, 2020.
- 28 CFR 0.112
- 28 U.S.C. § 564
- "Summary of S. 178 (114th): Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act of 2015". GovTrack.us. Archived from the original on September 21, 2020. Retrieved September 3, 2020. This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
- "Current U.S. Marshals 15 Most Wanted Fugitives". United States Marshals Service. Archived from the original on May 2, 2021. Retrieved March 26, 2011.
- "Most Wanted | Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives". www.atf.gov. Archived from the original on September 8, 2021. Retrieved September 7, 2021.
- "Current U.S. Marshals Service Major Case Fugitives". United States Marshals Service. Archived from the original on July 16, 2011. Retrieved March 26, 2011.
- Barrett, Devlin (November 13, 2014). "Americans' Cellphones Targeted in Secret U.S. Spy Program". The Wall Street Journal. Archived from the original on November 16, 2014. Retrieved November 14, 2014.
- Federal Tactical Teams (PDF). Government Accountability Office (Report). September 2020. p. 42. Archived (PDF) from the original on March 8, 2023. Retrieved March 25, 2023.
- @USMarshalsHQ (July 27, 2021). "A glance at USMS SOG selection….the first few hours. The Special Operations Group (SOG) is a specially trained and highly disciplined tactical unit. It is a self-supporting response team capable of responding to emergencies anywhere in the United States or its territories" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
- "Tactical Operations". U.S. Marshals Service. February 22, 2021. Archived from the original on March 18, 2023. Retrieved March 25, 2023.
- Service (USMS), U. S. Marshals. "U.S. Marshals Service". www.usmarshals.gov. Archived from the original on August 16, 2019. Retrieved August 23, 2019.
- Folley, Aris (November 16, 2018). "Millions being spent on U.S. Marshals Service security detail for DeVos: report". The Hill. Archived from the original on August 23, 2019. Retrieved August 23, 2019.
- Shortell, David (April 26, 2018). "Deputy US marshals on Rosenstein security team save woman after fentanyl overdose". CNN. Archived from the original on August 23, 2019. Retrieved August 23, 2019.
- de Vogue, Ariane (September 21, 2018). "US Marshals investigating threats against Kavanaugh and his family". CNN. Archived from the original on August 23, 2019. Retrieved August 23, 2019.
- Koerner, Brendan (May 3, 2004). "Who protects David Souter?". Slate. Archived from the original on August 23, 2019. Retrieved August 23, 2019.
- Jensen, Ralph C. (October 10, 2018). "Securing the Supreme Court". Security Today. Archived from the original on August 23, 2019. Retrieved August 23, 2019.
- Ruger, Todd (March 14, 2018). "Supreme Court Justices Make Their Own Security Choices, Documents Reveal". Archived from the original on August 23, 2019. Retrieved August 23, 2019.
- Marsh, Rene; Mallonee, Mary Kay; Campbell, Josh; Watkins, Eli (June 21, 2018). "Trump admin wants US Marshals to take over security for Cabinet heads". CNN. Archived from the original on August 23, 2019. Retrieved August 23, 2019.
- Reilly, Ryan J. (March 11, 2019). "Trump Administration Wants To Study Idea Of U.S. Marshals Taking Over Cabinet Security". HuffPost. Archived from the original on August 23, 2019. Retrieved August 23, 2019.
- (USMS), U.S. Marshals Service. "U.S. Marshals Service". www.usmarshals.gov. Archived from the original on January 1, 2016. Retrieved January 9, 2016.
- "Training Academy". U.S. Marshals Service. July 28, 2020. Archived from the original on November 11, 2022. Retrieved March 25, 2023.
- "U.S. Marshals Service for Students: A Week in the Life of a Deputy U.S. Marshal: Wednesday". United States Marshals Service. April 13, 2017. Archived from the original on April 14, 2017. Retrieved March 15, 2023.
- Eger, Chris (July 24, 2019). "Exclusive: U.S. Marshals Special Operations Group Adopts STI 2011 Pistols". Guns.com. Archived from the original on February 5, 2021. Retrieved February 1, 2021.
- Peter Aldhous; Karla Zabludovsky (August 3, 2017). "US Federal Agents Flew A Secret Spy Plane To Hunt Drug Cartel Leaders In Mexico". BuzzFeed News. Archived from the original on June 27, 2020. Retrieved June 26, 2020.
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- Barrett, Devlin; Nagesh, Gautham (November 14, 2014). "U.S. Defends Marshals in Wake of Secret Cellphone Spying Report". The Wall Street Journal. Archived from the original on June 26, 2020. Retrieved June 26, 2020.
- Peter Aldhous (July 27, 2011). "Marshals Plane Registration". BuzzFeed News via documentcloud.org. Archived from the original on June 27, 2020. Retrieved June 26, 2020.
- Peter Aldhous (May 24, 2012). "Marshals Plane Mexico". BuzzFeed News via documentcloud.org. Archived from the original on June 24, 2020. Retrieved June 26, 2020.
- Barrett, Devlin (November 21, 2014). "U.S. Marshals Service Personnel Dressed as Mexican Marines Pursue Cartel Bosses". The Wall Street Journal. Archived from the original on June 20, 2020. Retrieved June 26, 2020.
- "Position classification standard for United States Marshal series, GS-0082" (PDF). United States Office of Personnel Management. June 1973. Archived (PDF) from the original on September 10, 2008. Retrieved February 25, 2007.
- "Position Classification Standard for General Investigating/Criminal Investigating Series, GS-1810/1811" (PDF). United States Office of Personnel Management. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 27, 2009.
- 14 U.S.C. § 2114
- "Court Security Officer position requirements". United States Marshals Service. Archived from the original on March 1, 2011. Retrieved March 26, 2011.
- "Inside the US Marshals' Secretive, Deadly Detention Empire". prisonlegalnews.org. March 3, 2020. Archived from the original on August 22, 2021. Retrieved August 22, 2021.
- "Duties". usmashals.gov. Archived from the original on August 22, 2021. Retrieved August 22, 2021.
- Weichselbaum, Simone; McClendon, Sachi; Garcia, Uriel J. (February 11, 2021). "US marshals act like local police, but with more violence and less accountability". USA Today. Archived from the original on March 9, 2023. Retrieved March 25, 2023.
- Marusak, Joe; Alexander, Ames (June 29, 2021). "Deputy US Marshal who shot, killed Frankie Jennings won't face charges, Meck DA says". The Charlotte Observer. Archived from the original on August 22, 2021. Retrieved March 25, 2023.
- "Marshal Robert Forsyth". Officer Down Memorial Page. Archived from the original on March 21, 2011. Retrieved March 26, 2011.
- "Constable Darius Quimby". Officer Down Memorial Page. Archived from the original on April 29, 2011. Retrieved March 26, 2011.
- Howe, Robert F. (July 6, 1989). "Marshals Service Official Charged with Extortion". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on September 9, 2018. Retrieved July 30, 2018.
- "Audit of the United States Marshals Service's Oversight of its Judicial Facilities Security Program" (PDF). United States Department of Justice. November 2010. Archived (PDF) from the original on January 1, 2011. Retrieved March 26, 2011.
- Gross, Doug (March 26, 2009). "Wanted U.S. marshal's body found in Mexico". CNN. Archived from the original on October 4, 2009. Retrieved March 26, 2011.
- Robinson, Mike (April 13, 2009). "Deputy US Marshal John T. Ambrose To Be Tried For Leaking Secrets To The Mob". HuffPost. Archived from the original on June 6, 2011. Retrieved March 26, 2011.
- Korecki, Natasha; Main, Frank (April 28, 2009). "Deputy U.S. Marshal Ambrose guilty on two charges". Chicago Sun-Times. Archived from the original on May 2, 2009.
- "Trials". Chicago Tribune. Archived from the original on July 20, 2014.
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- Official website
- U.S. Marshals Service Office of Public Affairs Official Flickr account
- Court Security Program Archived July 16, 2011, at the Wayback Machine – includes role in CSOs
- Authority of FBI agents, serving as special deputy United States marshals, to pursue non-federal fugitives
- Deputization of Members of Congress as special deputy U.S. marshals
- USC on the U.S. Marshals Service Archived March 1, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
- Retired US Marshals Association
- U.S. Diplomatic Security Service (DSS)
- Stacia Hylton Director of U.S. Marshals Service 12/23/10 to 6/9/15
- United States Code 14 U.S.C. § 634 "Officers holding certain offices"