For Immediate Release
|March 08, 2021||U.S. Marshals Office of Public Affairs (703) 740-1699|
U.S. Marshals Service Solves 2 Cold
Cases on Same Day,
Arrests 2 Fugitives After 17 Years on the Run
New York – The U.S. Marshals Service (USMS) took into custody March 2 two high-profile fugitive drug traffickers wanted by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of New York (USAO SDNY).
In November 2004, Thomas Sanders was indicted in the SDNY on narcotics conspiracy charges after he led the NYPD Queens Gang Unit on a high-speed chase in the town of Valley Stream, N.Y., before crashing his vehicle and fleeing on foot. Investigators searched the vehicle and found 69 kilograms of cocaine.
The USMS adopted the Sanders case in December 2004. The investigation was deemed a USMS Major Case and was added to the New York State top 100 list and the case went cold.
USMS investigators recently developed information that Sanders had assumed the new identify of Franklin Maldonado Santos and was residing in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, with a new wife and two children.
On March 1, members of the Special Directorate
for the Search of Rebels and Fugitives (SDSRF), an elite fugitive
apprehension unit composed of Dominican military members and federal
agents, located and arrested Sanders in Santo Domingo, Dominican
Republic. Sanders had no legal status in the Dominican Republic and was
deported the following day, via John F. Kennedy International Airport in
Queens, where he was met by members of the USMS NY/NJ Regional Fugitive
Task Force who transported him to the Southern District of New York for
In 2002, the DEA began arresting John Shop crew members, leading to the indictment on federal charges of more than 20 members, all of whom were found guilty at trial, except for Chin, who was already on the run.
The USMS determined that Chin was using multiple aliases and had a record of multiple arrests by the NYPD and Philadelphia Police Department for firearms violations and narcotics conspiracy and distribution.
A major break in the case came in January from a positive ID on an arrest photo that helped investigators identify Chin’s family members and close associates. The team developed information that a female associate had recently traveled to Kingston, Jamaica, and was due to return to the United States on March 2.
Acting on the possibility that Chin would be at the airport, USMS investigators set up surveillance at the airport and observed the woman exit the terminal and walk toward a blue BMW sedan. DUSMs recognized an individual matching Chin’s description step out of the vehicle and he was taken into custody without incident.
“This cold case achievement demonstrates the interminable determination of the United States Marshals Service’s commitment to the capture of fugitives,” said Ralph Sozio, U.S. Marshal for the Southern District of New York. “It is through the dedicated, determined and coordinated efforts of the United States Marshals Service, along with our law enforcement partners that two dangerous fugitives were apprehended after evading capture for 17 years.”
Additional information about the U.S. Marshals Service can be found at http://www.usmarshals.gov.