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For Immediate Release

Contact:
February 16, 2011 Western District of Tennessee
Jeff Love, Deputy U.S.Marshal/ PAIO (731) 427-4661
Murder Suspect Captured by Marshals in South Carolina

Jackson, TN – U.S. Marshals announced today the capture of Jonique Diguel Merriweather, who was wanted in connection with a homicide that occurred earlier in the week. According to investigators with the Jackson Police Department the victim, Michael Bates, was killed on Sunday when he sustained a single gunshot wound while driving his car on a local Jackson street. An Arrest Warrant was issued on February 14, 2011 charging Merriweather with First Degree Murder in connection with the shooting.

Jackson Police contacted the Gulf Coast Regional Fugitive Task force on the day the warrant was issued and asked for assistance in locating Merriweather. The joint investigation which followed revealed Merriweather had fled the state. Today, acting on a tip, Marshals located Merriweather at an address in North Augusta, SC. Marshals with the Operation Intercept Fugitive Task Force along with North Augusta SWAT and Agents with the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms arrested Merriweather at 711 Groves Blvd, North Augusta, SC. Marshals there say a firearm and large sum of money was also located inside the residence.

Kelvin Washington, U.S. Marshal for the District of South Carolina stated: “Many fugitives attempt to run and hide in our great state. However, the united law enforcement community has again brought another fugitive to justice. We appreciate the assistance of the North Augusta SWAT team and their dedication to ensuring our communities safety.”

Merriweather was transported to the Lexington County Detention Center where he will be held while awaiting extradition back to Tennessee.

The Gulf Coast Regional Fugitive Task Force (GCRFTF) and Operation Intercept are each a wing of the U.S. Marshals. The GCRFTF has offices in Tennessee, Mississippi and Alabama while Operation Intercept is located in South Carolina. The Jackson, TN office consists of Deputy U.S. Marshals, Investigators with the Jackson Police Department and Deputies with the Madison County Tennessee Sheriffs Office.

Additional information about the U.S. Marshals Service can be found at http://www.usmarshals.gov

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