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


Scene at Silver Pines Senior Community (Deseret News)...

Lauren Steinbrecher

Suspect dead in Sandy shooting involving US Marshals Service

A man was shot and killed by a U.S. Marshals task force at Silver Pines Senior Community Friday afternoon.

53 minutes ago

Repair shop security camera footage (KSL TV)...

Garna Mejia

Beloved family car stolen in Cottonwood Heights

A family in Cottonwood Heights is offering a $250 reward for the recovery of their stolen 1995 Acura Integra.

4 hours ago

Salt Lake City Police patrol car (Salt Lake City Police Department, file photo)...

Luke Seaver

Salt Lake police report dramatic fall in car thefts and car burglaries

The Salt Lake City Police Department issued a press release Friday highlighting statistics that indicate a significant reduction in stolen cars and car break-ins.

6 hours ago

Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill on Friday released additional details about two justifi...

Pat Reavy,

Additional details on 2 Utah officer-involved shootings released

Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill reaffirmed Friday that officers involved in two unrelated shootings were legally justified in using deadly force, and also provided more details about each investigation.

6 hours ago

Demetrius Omar Lateef (Bull Stock Media)...

Emily Ashcraft, 

Judge allows woman charged with murdering professional bull rider to be released on bail

A woman accused of murdering a professional bull rider was released on bail.

1 day ago

(ATF Denver Field Division)...

Pat Reavy,

Reward offered in Cedar City stolen firearms investigation

A reward is being offered in connection with a stolen firearms investigation in southern Utah.

2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Users display warnings about the use of artificial intelligence (AI), access to malicious software ...

Les Olson

How to Stay Safe from Cybersecurity Threats

Read our tips for reading for how to respond to rising cybersecurity threats in 2023 and beyond to keep yourself and your company safe.

Design mockup half in white and half in color of luxury house interior with open plan living room a...

Lighting Design

Lighting Design 101: Learn the Basics

These lighting design basics will help you when designing your home, so you can meet both practical and aesthetic needs.

an antler with large horns int he wilderness...

Three Bear Lodge

Yellowstone in the Fall: A Wildlife Spectacle Worth Witnessing

While most people travel to this park in the summer, late fall in Yellowstone provides a wealth of highlights to make a memorable experience.

a diverse group of students raising their hands in a classroom...

Little Orchard Preschool

6 Benefits of Preschool for Kids

Some of the benefits of preschool for kids include developing independence, curiosity, and learning more about the world.

US Marshals Alarmed By Number Of Guns Found With Wanted Suspects