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October 10, 2007 Office of Public Affairs (202) 307-9065 or
Deputy Michael Powell, U.S. Marshals Service
Southern District of Iowa (515) 284-6240

U.S. Marshals Arrest Russell Eugene Blessman
Accused Sex Offender in Custody in Utah

Russell Eugene Blessman (Captured)Heber City, UT – U.S. Marshals arrested Russell Eugene Blessman today in Heber City, UT, approximately 40 miles southeast of Salt Lake City. Acting on a tip from a cooperating source, U.S. Marshals from Salt Lake City traveled to Heber City and located Blessman in a local motel room. Blessman was arrested without incident and is being held at the Salt Lake County Jail. Other law enforcement agencies assisting with the arrest were the Heber City Police Department, the Wasatch County (UT) Sheriff’s Office, and the Unita County (UT) Sheriff’s Office.

U.S. Marshals in the Southern District of Iowa joined the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation and the Polk County Attorney’s Office in July 2007 in the search for Blessman, 51, who is charged with two counts of 2nd degree sexual abuse and one count of contempt of court in reference to an alleged violation of a no contact order. Arrest warrants were issued for Blessman in Polk County in June 2007. Believing Blessman fled the state of Iowa, U.S. Marshals in Des Moines obtained a federal arrest warrant in July 2007 and charged Blessman with Unlawful Flight to Avoid Prosecution (UFAP).

U.S. Marshals frequently provide assistance and expertise to other federal, state and local law enforcement agencies in support of a wide range of law enforcement activities including fugitive apprehension. In Fiscal Year 2006, Marshals Service-led fugitive task forces arrested more than 46,800 state/local fugitives, clearing 54,300 state/local felony warrants.

Additional information about U.S. Marshals, including Most Wanted fugitives, can be found at www.usmarshals.gov.

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