Across the country, federal marshals teamed up with state and local law enforcement officials to target career criminals.
"In fact those arrested in this operation had a combined criminal history of more than 138,000 prior arrests," said John Clark, U.S. Marshals Service Director.
Federal authorities joined Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan in Chicago Thursday to talk about their coast-to-coast investigation. The marshals have been conducting Operation Falcon since 2005, but this is the biggest operation to date.
"I believe it could be called the largest law enforcement operation ever conducted in our history," said Clark.
"We have worked with them to make our communities safer, in particular from sex offenders," said Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan.
The goal is to reduce crime by taking the so-called worst of the worst off the street.
Nationwide, over one month's time the operation arrested more than 35,000 people:
"Some were found hiding under beds, some in closets, and still others tried to make a run for it out the back door only to be caught anyway," said Clark.