For Immediate Release
|August 03, 2018||
Lakesha Lyles, Deputy U.S. Marshal
District of Arizona – Tucson (520) 444-5040;
U.S. Marshals Office of Public Affairs (703) 740-1699
|U.S. Marshals Arrest 53 Fugitives During Weeklong Operation|
Tucson, AZ - From July 30-August 3, 2018, the United States
Marshals Service Arizona WANTED Violent Offender Task Force conducted
Operation Southern Star VII. This operation focused on reducing violent
crime in Pima, Cochise, and Graham Counties by targeting violent
fugitives wanted for violent crimes and drug offenses.
David P. Gonzales, U.S. Marshal for the District of Arizona stated, “Southern Star is an annual fugitive apprehension program focused in rural communities in Southern Arizona. Law enforcement is more effective and efficient when we all work together to keep our communities safe.”
Under the auspices of Arizona WANTED, law enforcement partners reviewed outstanding warrants, conducted research, and collaboratively teamed up in an effort to locate and apprehend these fugitives. Arrest teams were strategically assigned to Graham, Cochise, and Pima Counties to apprehend the targets. Participating law enforcement agencies included: United States Marshals Service; U.S. Homeland Security Investigations; U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; Immigration and Customs Enforcement-Enforcement and Removal Operations; Pima County Sheriff's Department; Pima County Adult Probation; Graham County Sheriff’s Office; Graham County Adult Probation Department; Cochise County Sheriff’s Office; Cochise County Adult Probation; Arizona Department of Public Safety; Arizona Department of Corrections; Benson Police Department; Bisbee Police Department; Douglas Police Department; Marana Police Department; Pima Police Department; Sierra Vista Police Department; Tohono O'Odham Police Department; and Tucson Police Department.
Operation Southern Star VII netted 53 arrests throughout southern Arizona which included 19 arrests in Cochise County, 7 arrests in Graham County, 27 arrests in Pima County. Individuals arrested included the following:
1. Dominic Blount
Dominic Blount was wanted for Homicide (First Degree Murder) in relation to a gang-related fatal shooting in midtown Tucson on July 27, 2018. The victim, Avrum Diaz, 29 was pronounced deceased from multiple gunshot wounds at an E. Speedway hookah lounge parking lot. Diaz was in the parking lot with friends when an altercation followed by gunfire ensued. On August 1, 2018, Blount was arrested at a Tucson residence without incident.
2. Jeremy Gunderson
Jeremy Gunderson was wanted for Homicide (Second Degree Murder) in relation to the fatal stabbing of Robert Ritchie, 62 in Tucson. Ritchie was found deceased in the backyard of a home in the 3900 block of East Kleindale Road. Detectives have not been able to locate his next of kin, and would like the public’s assistance. On August 1, 2018, Gunderson was arrested in Tucson without incident.
3. Sean Dalka
Dalka had an arrest warrant from the Arizona Dept. of Corrections for Parole Violation. Dalka has an extensive criminal history involving weapons, threats, assault, and grand theft auto that occurred in states from California to western Texas. A location for Dakala was discovered in Lubbock, Texas, where he is suspected of also recently committing armed robberies. Deputy U.S. Marshals and other members of the Northern Texas Fugitive Task Force-Team Foxtrot, including Lubbock County Sheriff’s S.W.A.T. and Air Surveillance, surrounded the address. After a 30 minute “stand-off”, Dakala surrendered. A loaded rifle and a shotgun were located in the residence.
4. Antonio Rea and Sarah Weeks
Rea had and arrest warrant for Probation Violation with the underlying charges of Burglary and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. During the arrest, Weeks was found hiding in a closet and was also arrested for Probation Violation. Rea was also found hiding in a closet. Rea was found in possession of a handgun, multiple rounds of rifle and handgun ammunition, drug paraphernalia, and narcotics to include methadone. New charges are pending.
Cochise County Sheriff Mark Dannels said, "When all levels of government come together and collaborate for a shared cause, it is to the benefit to our citizens for quality of life and for their safety. We appreciate the opportunity to work with our local, state, and federal partners to get criminals back in custody and allow the courts to complete the judicial process.”
Graham County Sheriff Preston Allred said, “We had another productive warrant roundup in Graham County. We appreciate the great working relationships we have with the US Marshals and all the other Law Enforcement agencies in Graham County.”
Pima County Sheriff Mark Napier said, "The Pima County Sheriff's Department is proud to have an excellent public safety partner in the U.S. Marshal's Service. This is an excellent example of how through collaboration and cooperation we can work together to make our communities safer."
The United States Marshals Service is the nation’s oldest federal law enforcement agency. Annually, U.S. Marshals arrest more than 50 percent of all federal fugitives and serve more federal warrants than all other federal agencies combined.
Additional information about the U.S. Marshals Service can be found at http://www.usmarshals.gov.
America’s First Federal Law Enforcement Agency