The Guardians Club hosted a virtual webinar with Al Maresca, a Deputy U.S. Marshal, about his experiences as a missing Child’s Investigations Coordinator and recruiter for the U.S. Marshals, on Wednesday, Sept. 22
Maresca attended Monmouth University, graduating in 2005. “I pursued a communications degree in Television and Radio, which actually turned out pretty beneficial later on, especially when you’re doing press conferences,” Maresca said.
After graduation, Maresca attended the Ocean County Police Academy and worked as a local police officer for three years before obtaining employment with the Federal Bureau of Prisons. There, he worked as a Correctional Officer and a Case Manager.
“Essentially, my goal was to be able to use my entire criminal justice career to understand the entire life cycle of incarceration in the criminal justice system,” Maresca said. “The hope was that later on, I could actually apply these lessons learned as practices to generate legitimate change that actually benefits the American taxpayer and benefits the American people.”
Criminal justice reform only works if the justice system maintains its protection of the people, Maresca explained. “If you have legitimate experience that’s not just pure academia, then you’re able to apply the things that you see in real life and recognize the different perspectives and hopefully shift the paradigm,” he said.
In 2017, Maresca was hired as a Deputy U.S. Marshal. He currently works in the District of Maryland, serving as the deputy in charge of prison operations. “I’m the lead guy in charge of all incoming and outgoing prisoners,” Maresca said. “Collaterally, I serve as the Missing Child Investigation Coordinator.”
Maresca also investigates non-compliant federal and fugitive sex offenders, running enforcement operations. He is also a Public Affairs Officer, leveraging past experience as a Television & Radio student.
“In addition to hunting sex offenders and and finding missing kids, I have my own TV show, Maryland’s Most Wanted,” he said. “I’ve been able to tie my education and work experience all into one job.”
As the local sheriff’s office provides security for the courts, the U.S. Marshals are the federal version of the sheriff.
“We don’t do patrols, so instead of being called the ‘federal sheriff’, we are the marshal, because we are the enforcer of the court,” Maresca said. “We are the custodian of any warrant that comes out. Anything to do with the court, we hold that record and we are in charge of, unless it’s an FBI case, executing that warrant.”
Other agencies can execute their own warrants, but if need be, they can call upon the U.S. Marshals and they will execute the warrant for them.
“We’re most well renowned for hunting fugitives,” Maresca said. “There’s been plenty of television shows, including movies, about the U.S. Marshals hunting fugitives. We are the lead agency in terms of making sure sex offenders maintain their compliance and registry, and we handle all pre-trial prisoners, if they are found guilty, before they go to federal prisons.”
Cases that the U.S. Marshals pursue besides those fugitive related are sex offenders who are not compliant. “When someone fails to register as a sex offender, it’s actually a state crime,” Maresca said. “If they cross state lines, now they become a federal fugitive and I am in charge of them, hold them in, and charge them with violation of a United States code.”
Anybody who is charged via an indictment, or criminal complaint, and is not immediately arrested on site, is technically a fugitive, Maresca explained. “Anybody who has an open warrant is a fugitive. We are often called upon to execute warrants across the entire nation.”