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For Immediate Release

July 16, 2009 Criminal Investigator Deputy U.S. Marshal
Brian W. Koerbel, (216) 276-1033
U.S. Marshals Capture Cleveland Escapee in Arizona

NOVFTF LogoCleveland, OH – Fugitive DeCharles Stephens thought that he could outrun the long arm of the law by hiding in Arizona. Today, he found out the hard way that the reach of the U.S. Marshals Service has no boundaries. At approximately 9:30 a.m., (MST) today, escaped fugitive Stephens was apprehended by U.S. Marshals in Glendale, Arizona. On June 11, Stephens escaped from a City of Cleveland prisoner van as he was being transported between the city jail and the Cleveland House of Corrections. Stephens was in custody on charges of attempted murder with a firearm. Stephens was able to kick out the rear window of the van and escape custody.

The Cleveland Police referred the case to the U.S. Marshals Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force in an effort to locate and apprehend Stephens. During the course of the next few days, it was determined by the Task Force that Stephens had fled the State of Ohio and headed west. As a result of intense investigative work, the Task Force determined that Stephens was believed to be hiding in either the Phoenix or Glendale area. Information was immediately relayed to Deputy Marshals in the Phoenix office regarding Stephens and the hunt resumed.

After canvassing numerous addresses and following up on every lead, the Arizona based Task Force focused on an apartment in the Glendale area. The U.S. Marshals Arizona WANTED Task Force set up surveillance early this morning on an apartment complex located on the 5600 block of W. Colter Street in Glendale. After identifying Stephens going in and out of an apartment the Task Force, assisted by the Glendale Police Department, converged on the residence and arrested Stephens without incident. Stephens will be extradited back to Ohio to face his charges of aggravated robbery.

Assistant Chief Deputy U.S. Marshal Drew Deserto stated, “Outstanding police work and persistence was the key to capturing this escapee. It is great to see our Task Force reach across the country and bring another violent fugitive to justice.”

Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of a known fugitive is encouraged to contact the U.S. Marshals Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force at: 1-866-4-WANTED. Callers may remain anonymous.

The Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force in Cuyahoga County is composed of the following federal, state and local agencies: U.S. Marshals Service, Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Cleveland Police Department, Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Office, Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority Police Department, Euclid Police Department, Lakewood Police Department, Linndale Police Department, Westlake Police Department, Department of Housing and Urban Development – Office of Inspector General, Social Security Administration - Office of Inspector General, and the U.S. Coast Guard.

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