New Haven, CT – The District of Connecticut U.S. Marshals Violent Fugitive Task Force today arrested in Waterbury a man wanted in Connecticut on a 2023 murder charge and in West Virginia on a federal indictment in reference to a Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) investigation.
Tyjha Ali Watson, 29, of Charleston, West Virginia, was apprehended at 8:30 a.m. at a residence on Ash Street.
Watson faces state charges in Connecticut for murder, criminal possession of a firearm, criminal use of a weapon, reckless endangerment in the first degree, illegal possession of a weapon in a motor vehicle, and illegal discharge of a weapon stemming from an incident June 15, 2023, when Watson allegedly shot into an apartment building in Waterbury, striking a 49-year-old woman in the head. The victim, identified later as Beck Switzer, was transported to a local hospital but succumbed to her injuries five days after the shooting.
The U.S. Marshals Southern District of West Virginia CUFFED Task Force had asked for the public’s assistance in locating Watson in February 2023. Watson was wanted on a federal indictment out of the Southern District of West Virginia in reference to a DEA investigation into a drug trafficking organization with ties to the Bloods and Gangster Disciples criminal gangs. Watson had been on the run since February 2021. Twelve other defendants were charged in this investigation. All defendants charged in the original indictment have been apprehended.
Watson will face his state charges in Connecticut before answering for his federal charges in the Southern District of West Virginia.
The investigation was conducted by the U.S. Marshals CUFFED Task Force, the U.S. Marshals Violent Fugitive Task Force, the Southern District of West Virginia United States Attorney’s Office, and the Waterbury Police Department.
Since the inception of the U.S. Marshals – Connecticut Violent Fugitive Task Force in 1999, these partnerships have resulted in over 11,046 arrests. The task force’s objective is to seek out and arrest violent fugitives and sexual predators. Membership agencies include Hartford, New Haven, Bridgeport, Norwalk, Waterbury Police Departments and Immigration and Customs Enforcement. These arrests have ranged in seriousness from murder, assault, unregistered sex offenders, probation and parole violations and numerous other serious offenses. Nationally the U.S. Marshals Service fugitive programs are carried out with local law enforcement in 94 district offices, 85 local fugitive task forces, eight regional task forces, as well as a growing network of offices in foreign countries.