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For Immediate Release

Contact:
March 12, 2010 U.S. Marshals Florida Regional Fugitive Task Force
Supervisory Inspector Marty West (850) 942-8409;
USMS Headquarters Public Affairs (202) 307-9065
Liberty County Sheriff’s Office Joins U.S. Marshals Task Force

Bristol, FL - The U.S. Marshals Florida Regional Fugitive Task Force today announced the addition of the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office as the newest member of the Florida Regional Fugitive Task Force. Liberty County Deputy Sheriff William Todd Wheetley was sworn in this morning as a Special Deputy U.S. Marshal and appointed as the first representative from the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office to join task force operations. As a Special Deputy U.S. Marshal Wheetley will now be able to travel alongside U.S. Marshals anywhere within the United States of America to find and arrest fugitives wanted for violent crimes committed in Liberty County, FL. Liberty County Sheriff Donnie Conyers stood watch over Wheetley as he took the oath of office and stated that the partnership between the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office and the US Marshals would help to ensure that justice is served for the citizens of Liberty County by bringing those accused of violent offenses who have fled from Liberty County back to face their charges.

Within hours of Wheetley’s swearing in ceremony, Task Force Officers along with Wheetley and Liberty County Sheriff’s Deputies made their inaugural arrest with the capture of Emilio Barragan, 44, of Bristol, FL. Barragan was currently being sought by the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office for the offenses of Sexual Battery (2 Counts) and Domestic Battery. According to court documents, Barragan battered and sexually assaulted a female acquaintance in the presence of the couple’s children on multiple occasions. Barragan was located by Task Force personnel in the 18000 block of Northwest County Road 12 in Bristol, Florida and arrested without incident. Barrangan is currently being held in the Liberty County Jail awaiting first appearance.

U.S. Marshal Dennis Williamson stated that “cooperation between federal, state, and local agencies to hunt down violent fugitives ensures a safer community by removing the potential for future crimes to be committed by individuals who have a shown a propensity for violence.” The U.S. Marshals Florida Regional Fugitive Task Force is currently made up of members from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Gadsden County Sheriff’s Office, Leon County Sheriff’s Office, Leon County State Attorney’s Office, Liberty County Sheriff’s Office, Perry Police Department, Tallahassee Police Department, Taylor County Sheriff’s Office, and the Wakulla County Sheriff’s Office. All participating officers are sworn in as Special Deputy U.S. Marshals and have the authority to travel anywhere within the United States of America to arrest violent felons who have fled from the above jurisdictions.

For more information about the U.S. Marshals Service, visit http://www.usmarshals.gov.