Thu, Apr 17, 2014
9:30am - 11:00am
Deputy U.S. Marshal Robert Garmon was recently featured on Marshal Law: Texas on TNT. Photo by David HollowayFor the last year, Deputy U.S. Marshal Robert Garmon (’05) has been part of a task force that hunts down and arrests some of the most dangerous fugitives in the Houston area.
Take the case of Joshua World. He ambushed his ex-girlfriend and shot her in the head while she was moving into a new apartment. After firing at police during a high speed chase, World got away. Twenty-four hours later, the suspect was tracked down to a vacant home in southeast Harris County. Before Garmon and task force members could arrest him, World shot himself in the head and died at the scene.
Garmon has served with the U.S. Marshal Service since 2009.The Gulf Coast Violent Offender Task Force is a multi-agency law enforcement group that apprehends fugitives from state felony cases, such as capital murder, aggravated assault and sexual assault, as well offenders with federal warrants. The Task Force includes the U.S. Marshals Service, the Houston Police Department, the Texas Department of Public Safety, the Attorney General’s Office, Harris County Constable “Precinct 4, ” and Sheriff Offices in Harris Galveston, Montgomery and Fort Bend counties. The group operates in Harris, Galveston, Fort Bend and Montgomery counties and was recently featured on the TNT Series “Marshal Law: Texas.”“The reason the task force is so successful in what we do is because we work with the strengths of all agencies to get the job done,” said Garmon. “It’s pretty exciting to see what we do on TV. It’s a learning tool for others, and I think it was good. You get a glimpse of what we do on a daily basis.”
In addition to chasing the bad guys, the series showed the game plans needed to coordinate movements by all parties involved. But what it doesn’t portray is the hours of work it takes to bring a fugitive to justice, which includes surveillance, research, intelligence, and interviews to pinpoint where a suspect is hiding.
Some of the gear worn by U.S. Marshals.Nor does it show Garmon’s other duties as a Deputy U.S. Marshal. When he is not working with the Task Force, he is involved in civil processing of seized assets and transporting federal prisoners across the country and world.
“Just because I’m on the Task Force, doesn’t mean that I can’t participate in other duties at the U.S. Marshals Service,” he said
The U.S. Marshals Service is also responsible for protecting the federal judiciary and operating the federal Witness Protection Program.
Garmon joined the U.S. Marshals Service in 2009 after serving as a probation officer in Montgomery County for three years. He began his Marshals’ career in McAllen, Texas, where he handled a variety of duties, including fugitive warrants and civil process.
“Fugitives are an anytime type of work,” said Garmon. “You could be up at 3 a.m. in the morning or not get home until after midnight. It involves a lot of research and patience. Fugitives don’t stay put when they know someone is looking for them. They don’t want to go back to jail.”
Garmon frequently returns to SHSU for presentations. Garmon also is assigned to civil process in which he served subpoenas, summons, and writs of execution to seize property based on court orders. In this capacity, he helped confiscate motorcycles from defendants who no longer met their financial responsibilities.
After transferring to the Houston office, Garmon was initially involved transporting prisoners to court for trial, sentencing and motions, including several high profile cases, including kidnapping and gang trials.
Garmon, who graduated from Sam Houston with a degree in Criminal Justice and a minor in Biology, credits the College with teaching him many of the skills he needs for his job. As a Bearkat football player, he learned professionalism and time management. He also met “genuinely good people,” including fellow students and faculty.
Garmon teaches high school students at CJ Summer Camp. Garmon frequently comes back to the College to help the next generation of criminal justice professionals. Garmon warns students that decision they make in high school and college can impact their careers later, citing the extensive background check done by his agency. It took him two years to get through the process.
“Hard work pays off,” Garmon said.