The South Florida Violent Crimes and Fugitives Task Force targets violent criminals and repeat offenders.
The task force tracked down the men who ambushed and killed a Brinks armored truck guard at Calder Calder Race Track and Casino in Aug. 2011. It also arrested the group accused of killing an armored truck guard in Miramar in Oct. 2010. Last year, the task force captured one of the FBI's most wanted: Kenneth Konias Jr., an armored truck guard accused of killing his partner and stealing more than $2 million.
"Ultimately, a bad guy is going to have a vulnerability, a soft side, and these guys are going to know what to look for," said Dave Beall, director of the South Florida Violent Crimes and Fugitive Task Force. "We believe this area, South Florida, is much safer based on this task force."
Local 10 Crime Specialist John Turchin recently spent time with the task force as its members trained. He watched them during several exercises, including assessing threats and attacking scenarios.
"Basically, what we always want to try to achieve is that," said R. Hilton Yam, a FBI weapons instructor. "Anything that they'll have to do for real they've already achieved in training."
Yam offered a scenario: an agent's is shot in the hand, his weapon is empty, the spare magazine is damaged, and he's only left with a few loose rounds. What next?
"How do you get all that back together into a functioning set up and back into the fight? So, that's what we're working on here so they have a plan if they ever need to use it," he said.
The task force is made up of agents from the FBI and officers from several police departments in Miami-Dade and Broward Counties.
"I've been working with the FBI for almost 27 years," said Jorge Miyar, a police officer in Miramar. "This has been the most satisfying squad because you actually see results immediately."
"It's all about survival," added John Untch, Miyar's partner. "I mean, at the end of the day, I want to go home to my family as well."
They pride themselves on outsmarting criminals.
"Our mission is not to start off thinking how we're going to make the physical arrest," said Beall. "It's to put the facts together, go to the grand jury, get an indictment, and sent it to prosecution."
The task force uses federal monies to pay overtime and to provide the agents and officers with vehicles, lab analysis, training, and security clearances.