U.S. Marshals Service Arizona W.A.N.T.E.D. Task Force
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - The United States Marshals Service has been around since 1789. Today that Silver Star still stands for courage, bravery and above all else commitment to serving the community.
Recently 9 On Your Side was granted access to the Arizona W.A.N.T.E.D. Task Force. We spent a day with Deputies with the U.S. Marshals Service as they served fugitives with arrest warrants. Depuites work with a number of other agencies in this task force.
The best Tucson has to offer in Law Enforcement come together to the most dangerous people on the streets.
As the day begins, Deputies are briefed on the suspects they are about to arrest and their history of violence.
"Trial vioaltion. He's wanted for smuggling aliens, mostly dope offense. A history of running with Law Enforcement. He's 44 years old," says a Deputy with the Task Force.
Supervising Deputy Ron Schlagel, a 21 year veteran, is leading the Task Force.
"We go out with a show of force when we serve these warrants, we like to use the element of surprise, kind of shock the targets that we're going after so they don't do anything," says Schlagel.
The convoy heads to the first house for an early morning wake up call on Tucson's Westside.
"We've go everybody in the stack so whenever you're ready," says Supervising Deputy Ron Schlagel.
The first arrest of the day presents a security challenge, but not for long. The U.S. Marshals Service comes with a purpose. Not even security dogs are a barrier. Instead Deputies lure the dogs away from the front door.
"Arrest warrant open the door! Let me see your hands. That's it. Party at hte front door. We go him! We got him!," yells a Deputy.
Mission accomplished in less than five minutes form the time of arrival.
"I mean there's nothing more that you can ask for. Everybody is safe. The guy is safe. We're safe. The Marshal's got his guy," says U.S. Marshal Deputy Daniel Leyva.
Leyva is considered a rookie on the Task Force, with just two years experience. He says a lot of behind the scenes work goes into these missions.
"Those are some of the things we have to do when we're doing our homework. We gotta look at the house adn everything, all the factors involved, the dogs, the fencing, all that stuff," says Leyva.
"We're not just going to run out and do something," added Leyva.
The next warrant. Several Deputies brief the rest.
"He's on a probation violation,charged with aggravated DUI for felony."
"That's gonna be off of Westover. We're gonna go Valencia to Westover South to Target Street. Residence is gonna be on the righthand side."
"It shows a history of violence, no history weapons."
During this briefing there was a little humor to break the tension.
"The last time the PO went over he was hiding in a bedroom under a sheet. There's two vehicles, we ran the plates. Cany you effectively hide under a bedroom sheet? Not really. He says he was sleeping on the bed between the wall and the bed apparently," says a Deputy.
Deputy Schlagel lays out the plan of attack. "Put two guys on the street to the South, get two guys in a car to do that." Police arrive at door and knock. "Police with a warrant! Open the door." "Come to the door, we're gonna take your door down." "Backdoor's open guys." "Okay they're gonna make entry on the back of the house."
Our cameras stayed outside while Deputies made their move inside. They found the fugitive and his girlfriend hiding in the bathroom.
"Open the door now, kicking in." "Come out! Now! Now!"
"Put your hands up, put your hands up. Where's Colin? Step out with your hands up! Let me see your hands. Get down on the ground. Rollover. I'm not fighting with you guys. Put your hands behind your back."
"He's gone, he's gone. You should have said your goodbyes when you were hiding together. So ware we clear in here guys? Yup. Yup," says Supervising Deputy Ron Schlagel as they clear the house.
"Possessoin of marijuana. Attempting to distribute marijuana. Pre-trial release violation."
"Police with a warrant. Open the door." Deputies knocking. "Police with a warrant coming in."
"You don't have anywhere to go. Let me see your hands. Come on. Step out. Get down. Lay on your back. Put your other hand first. You know what let's get her dressed first. Yeah. Alright go ahead."
"We're batting pretty good today," says Deputy Daniel Leyva.
This next case presented a challenge.
"There is a big wrought iron gate that closes the front of the house, so just be aware when we approach, so if we can get a couple of bodies, to the South and North while we try to make contact to the front of teh house , the gate hopefully it's open, if not we'll do whatever we have to get in if we deem necessary."
"Open the door, how's it going? Good how are you? We're looking for Brandon. Brandon is not here but you're welcome to come in. Secure the dog."
This suspects was not home but Deputies will return.
The last fugitive of the day is a high-profile case inovlving drugs and other serious charges.
Tucson Police Officers cordone off the area while more than 20 Deputies armed with highpowered weapons and ballisitic shields entered the house.
Minutes later, they get their man.
The symbol of the U.S. Marshals Service has always been a silver star -- an old west symbol with an old west motto that still rings true.
"We're not going away, we're going to do our job, we're going to accompolish our mission. We're gonna do it safely and to the best of our abilities. So there's no where you can hide," says Deuty Daniel Leyva.
Right now the U.S. Marshals Service has more than 7,000 Federal prisoners in custody. 65% of those have Tucson cases pending. As for their most high-profile case, last year they received a tip that lead to the capture of Max Montijo LaMadrid in Mexico.
LaMadrid had been ont eh run for more than 10 years. He was wanted for killing 16-year-old Tanae Natividad at a Jack In The Box drive through in MIdtown.
Tucson Deputies went to Mexico City to pick him up. He sits in jail right now awaiting trial.
Recently the U.S. Marshals sent four Deputies to Scotland to pickup two fugitives being extradited back to Tucson for prosecution.