The criminals were tracked by the Attorney General's Fugitive Unit, with most of the 13 statewide arrests made right here in Houston. The fugitives were wanted for a wide range of crimes, including assault, weapons violations, robbery and sex crimes. Attorney General Greg Abbott has a warning for criminals who moved here. "If you are a criminal fugitive from Louisiana who tried to come over here to the state of Texas in the evacuation effort from Hurricane Katrina, we want you to know that we're going to find you. We're going to track you down, we're going to arrest you and hold you accountable to the Louisiana law enforcement authorities," he says.
The arrests were made using a FEMA list of evacuees who had applied for disaster benefits, although Abbott says the list was hard to get. "The first step we needed to take in trying to get the information and track these people down was to get the list from FEMA about who may be over here in the first place. FEMA dragged their feet and put up roadblocks and made it difficult for us to get that list and basically delayed our efforts by a month or two," he says.
Abbott says the fugitives were arrested last month and this month. He says the Fugitive Unit is still looking for about a dozen other violent fugitives from Louisiana.