The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Local News

June 29, 2013

U.S. marshals capture ex-Valley resident

— U.S. marshals in Virginia have arrested a former Decatur resident with ties to Athens.

Fernando Harris, 45, was arrested Monday, after five years on the run, for his suspected participation in a drug conspiracy involving the possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, U.S. Marshal Bobby Mathieson said.

Harris was wanted by the Drug Enforcement Administration in Huntsville.

At approximately 3 p.m. Monday, investigators positively identified as Harris a man who exited a Hampton, Va., residence, Mathieson said. The suspect entered a vehicle and drove away.

Law enforcement officers followed Harris for about a quarter mile before the fugitive pulled the vehicle over, exited and began looking in the trunk, he said. While Harris was distracted, law enforcement officers moved in and Harris was arrested without incident.

In June 2008, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama issued warrants for 33 suspects accused of taking part in a 138-count indictment that stretched from northern Alabama to Texas, California and Mexico, he said.

The suspects were charged with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 5 kilograms or more of cocaine, 50 grams or more of cocaine base (crack) and 100 kilograms or more of marijuana, Mathieson said.

Within two weeks of the warrants being issued, the DEA requested help from the U.S. Marshals Service in Huntsville to apprehend them. All but two of the more than 30 suspects were captured within two months. One of the two fugitives, Harris, is alleged to have immediately gone into hiding, Mathieson said.

Harris was previously convicted of possession of cocaine in 1999. After serving a long prison sentence following that conviction, Harris was placed on supervised release. In December 2008, North Alabama issued a second arrest warrant for Harris for violating conditions of supervised release.

Approximately a week and a half ago, investigators with the Marshal’s Gulf Coast Regional Fugitive Task Force in North Alabama developed information that led them to believe Harris was residing within the Eastern District of Virginia, Mathieson said.

Investigators sought the help of deputy U.S. marshals in eastern Virginia. The deputy marshals developed additional information that led law enforcement, including the Newport News and Hampton Police Departments, to respond to the Hampton, Va., residence Monday.

1
Text Only
Local News
Photos


Poll

Do you believe America will ever make another manned flight to the moon or another planet?

Yes
No
     View Results
Facebook
AP Video
Raw: Gunmen Attack Iraqi Prison Convoy Plane Leaves Ukraine With More Crash Victims The Rock Brings Star Power to Premiere Raw: Families Travel to Taiwan Plane Crash Site Arizona Execution Takes Almost Two Hours Gen. Odierno Discusses Ukraine, NATO at Forum Gaza Fighting Rages Amid Cease-Fire Efforts Mint Gives JFK Coin a Face-lift Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers Ariz. Inmate Dies 2 Hours After Execution Began Crash Kills Teen Pilot Seeking World Record LeBron James Sends Apology Treat to Neighbors Raw: Funeral for Man Who Died in NYPD Custody Migrants Back in Honduras After US Deports Israeli American Reservist Torn Over Return
Twitter Updates
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Stocks
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Business Marquee