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September 11, 2006

USMS Headquarters Public Affairs (202) 307-9065

Washington, DC – Just three days after becoming the newest addition to the U.S. Marshals’ 15 Most Wanted list, Ralph “Bucky” Phillips is back behind bars.  Shortly after 8 p.m. (EDST) Friday, September 8, in Warren County PA, Phillips surrendered to a massive combined law enforcement contingent comprised of federally deputized officers from the New York State Police, U.S. Marshals, Warren County Sheriff’s Deputies, and officers from dozens of other local agencies.  Despite vows not to be taken alive, Phillips eventually raised his hands and came out of the field where he was hiding without firing a shot or saying a word.

Fifteen hours earlier, a spontaneous pursuit of a stolen car that zigzagged back and forth across the New York/Pennsylvania state line led officials to cordon off an area containing a man they suspected was Phillips.  The chase ended with the man bailing out of his moving vehicle and fleeing into a nearby wooded area.  Soon after, a canine officer confronted Phillips and fired at him when he turned and pointed a handgun at the officer.  Phillips fled that confrontation and state police quickly set up a series of perimeters to ensure he could not escape.  Slowly, they closed the noose.

U.S. Marshals worked furiously to deputize the local New York Officers and contributed both ground and air support to the operation.  The New York State Police, whose officers had last seen Phillips, along with the Pennsylvania State Police coordinated the impressive array of manpower and resources.

After his arrest, Phillips appeared before a federal judge on a charge of unlawful flight to avoid prosecution. The judge agreed to turn Phillips over to state police to face the charge of attempted murder in Chemung County, New York.  After acknowledging his identity, he was led away by Deputy Marshals who would facilitate the hand off to local officials.

“I commend the performance of the New York State Police, as well as the Pennsylvania State Police and all of the other local agencies in New York and Pennsylvania that contributed to this outcome,“ said John Clark, Director of the U.S. Marshals Service.

“The rapid coordination and cooperation that resulted in Phillips capture today reflects the kind of work we are doing in our task forces nationwide,” Clark said, “We rely every day on our partners in local law enforcement and they know they can count on the Marshals Service to be there for them as well.”

U.S. Marshal Peter A. Lawrence (Western District of New York) expressed his deepest sympathy to the family of slain New York State Trooper Joseph Longobardo, and extended his office’s hopes for a speedy recovery for Trooper Donald Baker, injured in the August 31 ambush. 

U.S. Marshals operate more than 80 local task forces comprised of federal, state, and local partners.  They pursue local fugitives wanted for violent or drug related state offenses as well as federal crimes.  In the past ten months, U.S. Marshals, often working with local agencies, have cleared over 114, 500 federal and state felony warrants.

Phillips’s wanted poster, and original wanted release, are on the U.S. Marshals website,