Mobile, AL – On the evening of May 28, Deputy U.S. Marshals from the Southern District of Alabama and other state and federal partners surrounded a travel camper at an RV park in Baytown, Texas, where long-time fugitive Norman Young was an occupant. Young has been a wanted fugitive since the Drug Enforcement Administration attempted to serve a warrant for his arrest on his 40-acre property in northwest Mobile County in 2007.
Young is accused of running a multi-million dollar marijuana operation on the family property, which featured infrastructures that aided in the concealment of the operation and the escape. He was allegedly the key figure involved with at least two Mexican drug trafficking organizations. According to the indictment, he was instrumental in funneling large quantities of marijuana into the U.S. through Mobile County to various locations in Tennessee, north Alabama and Mississippi with proceeds in the millions of dollars.
In 2007, a search warrant netted federal agents numerous firearms, ammunition, marijuana and thousands of dollars in U.S. currency. It was discovered that the property had numerous large underground storage areas for bulk marijuana to aid in concealing their criminal conduct. It was reported that Young evaded capture by fleeing into a wooded area where personal belongings were recovered. Young's wife and other co-defendants were taken into custody and later convicted. The Drug Enforcement Administration delegated the warrant to the U.S. Marshals Service in 2007 and the fugitive investigation was later elevated to a Major Case in 2009. Numerous law enforcement agencies have assisted the U.S. Marshals in the search for Young for the past 13 years without success.
Recently, information was developed that Young's now ex-wife was living in the Baytown area working as a contractor and that Young was still in close contact with her. Deputy U.S. Marshals conducted a surveillance operation at the campground at which time Young was observed at the camper of his ex-wife. A secure perimeter was established and the occupants of the camper emerged, including Young, who was taken into custody without incident.
Mark F. Sloke, U.S. Marshal for the Southern District of Alabama, said, "The U.S. Marshals Service never stops in its relentless pursuit of fugitives. The dedication and perseverance of our Deputy U.S. Marshals made this capture possible. This just shows that you can run but you can't hide from justice."
Young is currently awaiting extradition back to Mobile to face charges of conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute marijuana greater than 1,000 kilograms; possession with the intent to distribute marijuana; and forfeiture.
The U.S. Marshals for the Southern District of Alabama was the lead on this investigation and was assisted by U.S. Marshals Service Southern District of Texas, U.S. Marshals Service Investigative Operations Division, U.S. Marshals Service Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force, U.S. Marshals Service Technical Operations Group, Drug Enforcement Administration and Baytown Police Department.
The U.S. Marshals Service is the nation's oldest federal law enforcement agency, having served the country since 1789.