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U.S. Marshals Service

History -  Capture of Christopher Boyce

Boyce escorted from the CourthouseBoyce was dubbed the Falcon because of his hobby of falconry, and Lee the Snowman because of his numerous brushes with the law as a cocaine trafficker.  Boyce shown on left leaving the Courthouse for Snohomish County Jail

The escape of Boyce occurred just three months after the Attorney General had transferred primary jurisdiction for the apprehension of escaped Federal prisoners from the Federal Bureau of  Investigation to the United States Marshals Service. Boyce was the first "high profile" escapee that the Service had to deal with. Over the next 19 months investigations involved almost every district in the district in the United States, as well as a host of foreign countries, including Costa Rica, Mexico, Canada, France and South Africa. Over 800 interviews were conducted, hundreds of investigative leads pursued and scores of "sightings" followed up and eliminated.

In early August 1981, the first major break in the case developed, based on information that Boyce was probably in the northwest Washington State area. A special task force was formed on August 1, comprised of 19 Marshals Service  Inspectors and Deputies, eight FBI agents and an agent from the U.S. Border Patrol.

Twenty-four hour surveillance was maintained at various locations and Deputy U.S. Marshals assumed undercover roles, blending into community as as loggers, fishermen, waitresses, etc.  Fruitful investigative leads had been developed and pieces of the puzzle began to fall into place.

Marshals Service Investigators, with FBI assistance, located  a driver's license photo, handwriting samples, and bank surveillance photos indicating that Boyce might be supporting himself by robbing  banks.

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