Criminal Justice News

Friday, February 17, 2017

U.S. Marshals Arrest New Mexico’s Most Wanted Cesar Rascon-Sierra

Albuquerque, NM - On February 02, 2017, the U.S. Marshal Service for the District of New Mexico added Cesar Rascon-Sierra to the New Mexico’s Most Wanted as a Violent Offender.

The U.S. Marshals Southwest Investigative Fugitive Team (SWIFT) Task Force was searching for violent fugitive Cesar Rascon-Sierra. Rascon-Sierra was wanted on a number of felony warrants including: Felon in Possession of a Firearm and Ammunition, Failure to Appear (Kidnapping) issued February of 2016.

On February 14th, 2017, Rascon-Sierra was arrested by the United States Marshals Service Task Force. Due to the diligence and attention to detail by the United States Marshal Taskforce coupled with the exposure of this case by the media, law enforcement, and the people of New Mexico Rascon-Sierra wasn’t listed as a fugitive from justice for long.

SOFAST Task Force Arrests Murder Suspect in Cincinnati

Cincinnati, OH - U.S. Marshal Pete Tobin is pleased to announce that during the afternoon hours of February 15, 2017, the U.S. Marshal’s Southern Ohio Fugitive Apprehension Strike Team (SOFAST) arrested fugitive Kamaya Farikafi for an outstanding warrant from the Chelsea District Court for Murder.

Farikafi, 23, was wanted by the Chelsea Police Department, Massachusetts State Police and the U.S. Marshals’ New England HIDTA Fugitive Task Force. Investigators in Massachusetts discovered Farikafi fled to the State of Ohio. On February 5, 2017, Farikafi allegedly used a baseball bat to assault Melvin Cortes, 32, in the City of Chelsea. Cortes sustained serious life threating injuries as a result of the assault and succumbed to his injuries on February 11, 2017. U.S. Marshals’ New England HIDTA Fugitive Task Force and Massachusetts State Police developed information Farikafi was in the Cincinnati area of Southwestern Ohio. This information was provided to the U.S. Marshals’ Southern Ohio Fugitive Apprehension Strike Team (SOFAST), Cincinnati Office. The U.S. Marshals (SOFAST) and the Colerain Police Department quickly located Farikafi in the 7000 block of Colerain Avenue and arrested him on the outstanding charge.

Farikafi is currently in custody at the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office and will soon be extradited back to the State of Massachusetts.

Cincinnati’s SOFAST is a fugitive focused, U.S. Marshals Service-led task force consisting of local, state, and federal authorities including the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office, Colerain Township Police
Department, Harrison Police Department, Newtown Police Department, Social Security Administration Office of the Inspector General, St. Bernard Police and Warren County Prosecutor’s Office.

U.S. Marshals are the nation’s primary fugitive hunting organization and capture more federal fugitives each year than all other law enforcement agencies combined.

China Announces Scheduling Controls of Carfentanil and other fentanyl compounds

Washington, DC – China’s National Narcotics Control Commission this week announced that scheduling controls against four fentanyl-class substances -- carfentanil, furanyl fentanyl, valeryl fentanyl, and acryl fentanyl -- will begin on March 1, 2017.  This announcement is the culmination of ongoing collaboration between the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Government of China, and reaffirms the shared commitment to countering illicit fentanyl.

"Fentanyl-related compounds represent a significant and deadly component of the current opioid crisis.  These actions will undoubtedly save American lives and I would like to thank my Chinese counterparts for their actions on this important issue," said Acting Administrator Chuck Rosenberg. “This announcement demonstrates the continued commitment on the part of both our countries to address this threat wherever possible.”

Over the past several months, DEA and Chinese officials had been meeting regularly to discuss mutual interests and shared responsibilities in countering the threat from fentanyl class substances. Representatives from the China National Narcotics Laboratory, the Narcotics Control Bureau, and the Ministry of Public Security met with DEA officials to exchange information on emerging substances’ scientific data, trafficking trends, and sample exchanges. This dialogue resulted in improved methods for identifying and submitting deadly substances for government control.

Fentanyl, a synthetic opiate painkiller, and related compounds are often mixed with heroin to increase its potency, but dealers and buyers may not know exactly what they are selling or ingesting. These drugs are deadly at very low doses and come in several forms, including powder, blotter paper, tablets, and spray. Overdoses in the U.S. due to these drugs have increased exponentially in recent years, and DEA has issued national warnings about the danger.