News Tyrone Daily Herald Archives

Tyrone police officers join US Marshals Fugitive Task Force

Back in May of 2007, Tyrone Police Chief Joe Beachem and borough police officers Jessica Barlick and Billy Mayes were sworn into the United States Marshals Service, Western District of Pennsylvania – Johnstown Fugitive Task Force.
In January of 2008, Officers Josh Franks and Matt Lutz were also sworn in, and Officer Dustin Rhoades will be sworn into the fugitive task force this month.
This fugitive task force is an “ad hoc” (as needed) task force with its primary mission being to seek out and arrest, in a joint coordinated manner, persons who have un-executed state and federal warrants lodged against them.
The Tyrone officers receive fugitive warrants, which are primarily violent and drug felonies and some violent misdemeanors, and if the officers can’t locate the fugitive and that person is on the run, these sworn in officers can pursue the fugitive across state lines.
The fugitive task force is under the supervision of the US Marshal Service criminal investigator Deputy US Marshal. The officers are allowed to seek and execute arrest and search warrants supporting a federal task force. They are not authorized to participate in federal drug investigations unless they are also deputized by DEA or the FBI.
All of the officers were sworn in as Deputy US Marshals, which gives them the authority limited through the task force, but it gives them the authority to go after a person(s) anywhere in the United States.
If a fugitive does relocate to another state or is on the run, the task force must contact the marshals service and get approval; then get approval by the Blair County District Attorney Richard Consiglio for extradition in case the fugitive is found.
The task force warrants, investigative and arrest reports are maintained by the agency responsible for the investigation. The warrants designated for task force assistance are entered into the US Marshal Service Justice Detainee Information System (JDIS) for tracking and disposition status.
Chief Beachem said that by having himself and other police officers deputized, they have been able to find three fugitives thus far. Two of the fugitives were in Arkansas, and one fugitive was in Altoona, but was traveling from New York and New Jersey also.
“The one case we had was a possession of child pornography, 35 counts, and we couldn’t find – the guy basically went into the dark,” said Beachem. “We turned it over to the marshals and we had the guy within two days.”
He added, “The fugitives that were in Arkansas were found only hours after we submitted it through our task force.”
Beachem said that much of the success of the task force thus far is possible because of the eagerness and cooperation of District Attorney Consiglio to apprehend fugitives, especially ones with drug warrants.
“This task force is a good tool, and so far we are three for three,” stated Beachem. “We’ve been trying to send a message that number one, drug dealers shouldn’t come here; and if you’re a violent felon, this isn’t the place to come to commit your crime.”
He continued by saying that the marshal service has access to resources that Tyrone doesn’t have, and having the department and some of its officers involved is a great benefit to the community. It’s another safeguard in place to protect residents.
“I want people to understand that if you come here to commit a crime, you can go wherever you want to and we may still be able to come after you,” said Beachem.
“It doesn’t matter if you’re in California or right here in Pennsylvania.”