Yuma, Ariz.- From December 11-13, 2012, the U.S. Marshals Service in Arizona along with other State, Local and federal law enforcement agencies conducted “Operation Grinch Stopper.” This fugitive enforcement operation targeted those wanted for crimes which historically increase during the holidays to include robbery, burglary, theft, larceny and other related stolen property crimes. Operation Grinch Stopper resulted in the arrests of 143 fugitives state-wide. The goal behind this enforcement initiative is to not only locate and bring those wanted for property crimes to justice, but to also aid in the prevention of additional property crimes by undetected fugitives during the holidays.
“Historically, those fugitives wanted for property related crimes who remain at large continue to commit crimes in our cities, towns, and neighbourhood’s,” said David Gonzales, U.S. Marshal for the District of Arizona. “This operation is strategically timed around the holiday season when property crimes typically increase, with the interest being to provide the community with a sense of safety and security for not only their belongings, but also for themselves and loved ones.”
Operation Grinch Stopper netted a total of 143 arrests out of Arizona with 7 arrests in Flagstaff, 82 arrests in Phoenix, 38 arrests in Tucson, and 16 arrests in Yuma. As a result of the operation 265 warrants were cleared.
Those apprehended during the enforcement operation included the following:
Antonio Cervantes, 44, was arrested on December 11, 2012 during Operation Grinch Stopper in Somerton, AZ, on a warrant issued November 30, 2012, by Yuma County Superior Court for probation violation with an original charge of larceny.
Charles Bay, 32, was arrested on probable cause at his residence in Yuma on December 12, 2012. Bay was wanted for multiple shoplifting, theft and fraud offenses.
Deandre Wells, 23, was wanted on several warrants from armed robberies in Fort Worth, Texas as well as a parole violation warrant with an original charge of aggravated robbery. Information was developed by law enforcement officials in Texas that Wells was in Yuma, AZ. Operation Grinch participants developed information that Wells was at his mother’s house and arrested him there.Juan Alire, 23, was arrested by Operation Grinch participants in Yuma, AZ, on a probation violation warrant with an original charge of Larceny.
During Operation Grinch Stopper, participants prioritize fugitives with extensive criminal histories who continue to commit crimes within our communities. Additionally, Operation Grinch Stopper Participants often encounter individuals wanted for other crimes such as:
Rene Alcaraz, 32, was arrested on December 11, 2012 by Operation Grinch Stopper enforcement in Yuma, AZ. Alcaraz was wanted on federal pre-trial release violation warrant issued December 7, 2012 on his original charge of possession of dangerous drugs.
U.S. Marshals Service District of Arizona Chief Deputy Fidencio Rivera stated, “Operation Grinch Stopper, a state-wide fugitive operation, was created in response to the recent shooting of Tucson Police Sgt. Robert Carpenter who was shot during a response to a burglary on November 18, 2012. Fortunately, despite his injuries Sgt. Carpenter survived this ordeal.”
Operation Grinch Stopper involved numerous law enforcement officers from several contributing agencies throughout Arizona to include the following in the Yuma area: U.S. Marshals Service, Yuma Police Department, Somerton Police Department, San Luis Police Department, Yuma County Attorney’s Office, Yuma County Sheriff’s Office, Yuma County Adult Probation, Quechan Police Department, and Border Patrol.