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For Immediate Release

April 9, 2009

District of New Mexico

Drew E. Koschny, Assistant Chief Deputy


USMS Headquarters Public Affairs (202) 307-9065

Vehicular Homicide Fugitive Arrested by U.S. Marshals 

A fugitive wanted on outstanding state charges of homicide by vehicle, great bodily injury by vehicle while intoxicated, and aggravated driving while intoxicated causing bodily injury, was arrested yesterday by a team of law enforcement officers led by U.S. Marshals and the New Mexico State Police.

Byron Carpenter, 29, was being sought on warrants issued in Bernalillo County charging him with the vehicular homicide offense and Lincoln County charging him with felony embezzlement. Carpenter is accused of operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated and crashing into a vehicle, killing Rhonda Prince and her father Russell Kirtland, on Dec. 19, 2006, near Edgewood, NM. Carpenter was arrested again on Feb. 7, 2007, for a subsequent charge of driving while intoxicated.

U.S. Marshals, acting on a tip from the New Mexico chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD),
located Carpenter at a residence near Capitan. Carpenter fled the residence into the mountains in an effort to elude capture, but was eventually apprehended hiding under a rock pile. Carpenter is currently being held at Carrizozo Detention Center.

MADD Victim’s Advocate Dolly Otero stated, “It was rewarding to hear the great news of this capture. Our partnership with New Mexico law enforcement is amazing.”

Nathan Lucero, Criminal Agent with the New Mexico State Police assisted the U.S. Marshals in the coordination of carpenter’s capture. He stated, “The citizens of New Mexico must understand how serious DWI offenses are.” He added, “The State Police and the U.S. Marshals will thoroughly investigate and pursue these offenders. Any violators will be dealt with in a serious manner.”

Annually, investigations carried out by the U.S. Marshals result in the apprehension of approximately 34,000 federal fugitives. More federal fugitives are arrested by Marshals than all other federal agencies combined.

The Southwest Investigative Fugitive Task Force (SWIFT) is a team comprised of law enforcement officers from the U.S. Marshals Service, the New Mexico State Police, the Albuquerque Police Department, the Bernalillo County Sheriffs Office, the Santa Fe County Sheriffs Office, The Rio Rancho Police Department, and the New Mexico Probation and Parole Office. The task force objective is to seek out and arrest violent fugitives. Last year, U.S. Marshals task forces arrested more than 27,000 state and local fugitives on felony charges.

Additional information about the U.S. Marshals can be found at