Tracking down fugitives and sex offenders with the United States Marshals

Northern Iowa Fugitive Task Force arrests a sex offender as he was leaving his apartment in Sioux City, IA.

The United States Marshals Fugitive Task Force.

They are the federal government's premier agency for fugitive investigations, with the broadest arrest authority of any federal law enforcement agency.

Through "Justice, Integrity and Service" the U.S. Marshals are tasked with finding some of the nation's most violent fugitives.

"Things like murder, homicide, violent crimes, sexual assaults," said David Hubbell, a U.S. Marshal Deputy.

Long hours, late nights and early mornings, make up unpredictable days for the marshals.

Armed and specially trained with tactical skills, they possess the authority to cross jurisdictional lines, apprehending fugitives in the U.S. and abroad.

"Pick people up one after the other if the stars align," said Hubbell.

Assigned to the Northern Iowa Fugitive Task Force, Hubbell is one of roughly 3,000 Deputy U.S. Marshals charged with apprehending fugitives across the United States. And during a ride-along, I got a closer look, seeing how these Marshals track down these fugitives and put them behind bars.

"We also adopt cases, that are high profile cases because of their very nature, they're going to generate a lot of interest from the community," said Hubbell.

Just last Wednesday morning, the task force caught a sex offender by surprise.

Cameras were rolling as Marshals arrested a registered sex offender as he was leaving his Sioux City apartment.

Probation Officer: "Got another warrant for probation violation."
Fugitive: "For what?"
Probation Officer: "For taking off to South Dakota without permission and being in the company of a 14-year-old girl."
Fugitive: "I wasn't"

And that same day, there was another sex offender arrest around 6 pm.

Camera footage shows, Mario Chavez, a sex offender taken into custody, after multiple counts of failure to register as a sex offender.

Chavez was arrested at a Casey's Gas Station on Lewis Boulevard. He was taken to the Woodbury County Jail.

"Everything lines up in our favor. We can get quite a few in a day. But I would say typically, one to two," said Hubbell.

But before an arrest, it takes planning and preparation. Sometimes, marshals can spend minutes for an arrests, while others may take hours upon hours, days, even years, looking out for the fugitive.

"Typically a smaller department isn't able to get in contact with officials in Mexico or officials in Germany, but we have all the networking laid out for us," said Hubbell.

Hubbell has helped find fugitives, including two Sioux City brothers Jamal Dean and Levon Dean, who were convicted of traveling from South Sioux City, NE, to Sioux City, IA, in April of 2013 to assault and rob two drug dealers.

"Of course he was captured on his way to the Mexico border and we were able to intercept him using our pre-built law enforcement networks," said Hubbell.

And perhaps the notable capture for Hubbell, was Mitchell Meyer, a sex offender we featured in May 2015 on Siouxland's Most Wanted.

Meyer had been on the run for over 16 years, wanted for sexually abusing two minors in his hometown of Correctionville, IA.

"We actually had a caller that was able to tell us exactly where he was," said Hubbell.

Meyer was arrested in Mexico and deported to the U.S. in 2016. He now faces a 20 year prison sentence.

"Our relationship with KMEG-14 and FOX-44 has had a huge impact on the number of criminals we're able to get off the streets per day. Some of which, we wouldn't have a clue where they were without these tips, but thanks to the viewers it gives us another couple hundred thousand sets of eyes," said Hubbell.

If you want to help the Marshals in their mission. Be sure to tune in every Monday night to Siouxland News at 9, where we'll feature one of the fugitives on the Marshals' list.

Plus, for a list of currently wanted fugitives check out the Siouxland's Most Wanted page.

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