New York – The U.S. Marshals Service (USMS) New York/New Jersey Regional Fugitive Task Force (NY/NJ RFTF), with the assistance of the U.S. Marshals in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, apprehended Java Melvin in Reading, Pennsylvania.
The suspect, wanted for the “execution-style” shooting murder of his own stepfather, 80-year-old Marcelino Valerio, in the Bronx on Sept. 17, is alleged to have planned the assassination, donning a ski mask and lying in wait for him as he returned from a Sweet 16 party with his spouse.
Surveillance footage shows the suspect shooting his stepfather before leaving the scene on a bicycle. He later appeared at the family home and mourned the loss of his stepfather with family members.
After the heinous crime was reported, the case was quickly adopted by the USMS NY/NJ Regional Fugitive Task Force. Following an extensive investigation, Java was tracked to Reading, where he was arrested without incident with the assistance of the U.S. Marshals in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. He awaits extradition to New York to face charges.
Ralph Sozio, the U.S. Marshal for the Southern District of New York, praised the effort, and said, “The superb police work of the NY/NJ RFTF along with the joint effort of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania further demonstrates our commitment to excellence when it comes to tracking and apprehending fugitives. It is especially satisfying when we can bring closure to Marcelino Valerio’s family by bringing this fugitive back to NYC to face justice. I want to thank the men and women of the NY/NJ RFTF and the USMS in the Eastern District of PA for their dedicated coordination in executing this mission quickly and without incident.”
The New York/New Jersey Regional Fugitive Task Force began operations in April 2002 and was the first regional fugitive task force to become fully operational following the Presidential Threat Protection Act of 2000. The NY/NJRFTF was the flagship that has allowed seven other regional fugitive task forces to be created across the country. With partnership agreements with over 90 federal, state, or local agencies and 13 fully operational offices, the NY/NJRFTF has successfully apprehended over 95,000 fugitives since inception.