CRIME

US Marshals Alarmed By Number Of Guns Found With Wanted Suspects

Apr 1, 2021, 2:27 PM | Updated: 3:05 pm
(Photo by Shane T. McCoy/U.S. Marshals)...
(Photo by Shane T. McCoy/U.S. Marshals)
(Photo by Shane T. McCoy/U.S. Marshals)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Members of the United States Marshals Service said they are alarmed by the increased number of weapons they are confiscating after arresting wanted suspects.

Officials said the U.S. Marshals Violent Fugitive Apprehension Strike Team, which includes members from 26 state and local law enforcement agencies, has made a significant number after arrests in recent weeks. So far in 2021, VFAST agents have arrested 125 wanted individuals.

A news release said 37% of those arrests were suspects wanted on firearms violations and 34% were involved with gangs.

Many of those cases are referred to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms and the United States Attorney’s Office to consider whether additional federal weapons charges could apply.

For example, Jacob Loren Thompson had been convicted four times previously for possession of ammunition by a prohibited person. His most recent arrest in Kaysville was for domestic violence which led to an investigation of impersonating an officer.

During a search of his apartment, investigators found body armor, two AR-15s without serial numbers and with barrels that were illegal, a custom-built handgun without a serial number and other illegal items.

VFAST arrested Arthur Wayne Najera last week. He was accused of attacking a woman at a West Valley City bus stop and was charged with aggravated kidnapping and six counts of aggravated sexual assault.

The news release said Najera was a known gang member and had a lengthy history with Utah Adult Probation and Parole, including possession of dangerous weapons, possession with intent to distribute, and burglary. He was eventually arrested in Page, Arizona.

United States Marshal for the District of Utah, Matthew D. Harris said, “Our efforts illustrate there is no distance too far, nor lengths too small we will go to ensure victims of predatory crimes receive the justice they deserve.” He also added, “the increase in the number of fugitives with firearms is alarming. These felons often steal firearms from residential locations or utilize straw buyers to purchase weapons. Both the felons and those who provide weapons to them must be penalized.”

Nick Chournos, VFAST supervisor added, “These arrests are great examples of how a team like VFAST benefits both federal and state agencies. More importantly, how it benefits the communities we protect.”

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Crime

Cecily Aguilar pleaded guilty to being involved in covering up the death of Army Spc. Vanessa Guill...
Joe Sutton, Matt Phillips and Amir Vera, CNN

Cecily Aguilar pleads guilty in connection with death of Fort Hood soldier Vanessa Guillen

Cecily Aguilar, who was arrested in 2020 in connection with the disappearance of Army Spc. Vanessa Guillen, pleaded guilty Tuesday to being involved in the cover-up of her death, according to CNN affiliate KWTX and an attorney for Guillen's family.
1 day ago
Eli Mitchell (Courtesy Mitchell family)...
Michael Houck

Man pleads guilty to fatal hit-and-run involving West Jordan teen

The man suspected of killing a West Jordan 13-year-old riding his bike in April has pleaded guilty to two felony charges. 
1 day ago
(Park City Police Department)...
Madison Swenson

Police investigating after two rings taken from Park City hotel

The Park City Police Department is asking for the public's help in locating two valuable rings that were taken from a hotel at a local ski resort.
1 day ago
A block section of the old Utah State Prison in Draper is pictured on Aug. 15. A Utah man serving a...
Pat Reavy, KSL.com

Man who believed God told him to kill more than 20 years ago now seeks parole

A Utah man serving life in prison for killing a man he had never met more than 20 years ago because he believed God told him to do it no longer believes that and is seeking parole.
1 day ago
Douglas Stewart Carter prisoner...
SAM METZ Associated Press

Utah to challenge judge’s ruling overturning death row conviction

Utah plans to challenge a judge's decision overturning the 1985 murder conviction of a man who has been on death row for almost four decades.
2 days ago
handcuffs...
Pat Reavy, KSL.com

Clearfield man faces capital charges in killings of grandparents

A Clearfield man accused of shooting and killing his elderly grandparents the day before Thanksgiving was charged Monday with two capital offenses.
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 reasons you may want to consider apartment life over owning a home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to choose what MBA program is right for you: Take this quiz before you apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Diverse Group of Energetic Professionals Team Meeting in Modern Office: Brainstorming IT Programmer...
Les Olson

Don’t let a ransomware attack get you down | Protect your workplace today with cyber insurance

Business owners and operators should be on guard to protect their workplace. Cyber insurance can protect you from online attacks.
Hand turning a thermostat knob to increase savings by decreasing energy consumption. Composite imag...
Lighting Design

5 Lighting Tips to Save Energy and Money in Your Home

Advances in lighting technology make it easier to use smart features to cut costs. Read for tips to save energy by using different lighting strategies in your home.
Portrait of smiling practitioner with multi-ethnic senior people...
Summit Vista

How retirement communities help with healthy aging

There are many benefits that retirement communities contribute to healthy aging. Learn more about how it can enhance your life, or the life of your loved ones.
US Marshals Alarmed By Number Of Guns Found With Wanted Suspects