Lubbock fugitive captured during nationwide sweep

Lubbock fugitive captured during nationwide sweep

A Lubbock fugitive has been captured as part of a nationwide sweep by the U.S. Marshals Service.

Diewon Cyphers was wanted by the Lubbock Police Department for Aggravated Robbery and allegedly shot a man in the leg.

Lubbock Police Department requested the assistance of the North Texas Fugitive Task Force and three days later the suspect was located and arrested.

During the encounter another subject who possessed crack cocaine was arrested. During the search warrant of the arrest location, three handguns and an assault rifle were recovered and additional prosecution of the two men for the seizures is pending.

Here's a complete summary of the operation, provided by the U.S. Marshals Service:

WASHINGTON – For the second consecutive year, the U.S. Marshals Service has conducted a high-impact national fugitive apprehension initiative focusing on the country's most violent offenders.

This six-week initiative, called Operation Violence Reduction12 (Operation VR12), resulted in the arrest of more than 262 fugitives, gang members, sex offenders and violent criminals in the Northern District of Texas.

"We applied a strategically focused approach to locate and apprehend the nation's most dangerous fugitives.  By removing these violent offenders from the streets, the communities they preyed upon can immediately feel more secure." said U.S. Marshals Service Deputy Director David Harlow.

"Operation VR12 was about using our expertise and law enforcement partnerships to significantly impact our communities by focusing on the worst of the worst violent criminals."

While Operation VR12 was conducted nationwide in all 94 federal judicial districts, U.S. Marshals focused special attention on 12 selected locations, designated as priority cities by the U.S. Department of Justice:  Baltimore, Maryland; Brooklyn, New York; Camden, New Jersey; Chicago, Illinois; Compton, California; Fresno, California; Gary, Indiana; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; New Orleans, Louisiana; Oakland, California; Savannah, Georgia; and Washington, D.C.

The North Texas Fugitive Task Force (NTFTF), led by the U.S. Marshals Service, is comprised of Arlington Police, Dallas Police, Dallas County District Attorney, Dallas County Sheriffs, DHS-ICE, FBI, Fort Worth Police, Grand Prairie Police, Hood County Sheriffs, Lubbock Police, Lubbock County Sheriffs, Mesquite Police, Parker County Sheriffs, Tarrant County Sheriffs, Tarrant County District Attorney, Texas Department of Public Safety, Texas Attorney General and Weatherford Police. The NTFTF values its relationship with its partners as well as other law enforcement agencies within North Texas who propelled this successful operation.

The NTFTF requested and was provided additional assistance for Operation VR12 by the ATF, Cleburne Police and Johnson County Sheriffs.  During Operation VR12, the NTFTF focused on the cases meeting the criteria for the National Initiative.

In the six week period, the NTFTF arrested 338 fugitives (262 Operation VR12 targeted fugitives). These arrests included 16 homicide suspects, 49 sexual-offense criminals, 16 gang members. In addition, 25 firearm seizures and an amount of narcotics were seized.

In order to have the greatest impact on violent crime, Operation VR12 focused on fugitives who had three or more prior felony arrests for crimes such as murder, attempted murder, robbery, aggravated assault, arson, abduction/kidnapping, weapon offenses, sexual assault, child molestation and narcotics.

Operation VR12 investigators increased their focus on fugitives accused of sex crimes and on the recovery of missing children.

Between February 1 and March 11, the U.S. Marshals Service used its multi-jurisdictional investigative authority and fugitive task force network to arrest 648 gang members and others wanted on charges including 559 for homicide; and 946 for sexual offenses. In addition, investigators seized 463 firearms, $390,360 in currency, and more than 71 kilograms of illegal narcotics.

Also during the operation, investigators recovered 17 children who had been abducted and reported missing.

Notable arrests in the Northern District of Texas: Christopher Colbert was wanted by the Dallas Police Department for Homicide and other offenses. Colbert became a suspect after a partially decomposed body was found after a sale of the victim's home in 2015.

The NTFTF officially adopted the fugitive case from Dallas Police Department on February 26 and was able to locate Colbert and coordinate his arrest by the U.S. Marshals Task Force in Los Angeles on March 3, 2016.

Jeri Woods was wanted by the Hobart Police Department (Indiana) for two counts of Murder, two counts of Kidnapping and other charges. It is reported that Woods and other co-defendants kidnapped two young males in June 2015 over a neighborhood feud and took them to a heavily wooded area in Hobart, Indiana. It is alleged that Woods brandished a handgun and shot the two victims as they were forced to kneel facing each other.

The fugitive investigation by the U.S. Marshals in Indiana, working alongside the Hobart Police Department, developed information and requested assistance from the NTFTF. On February 29, 2016 the NTFTF continued the fugitive investigation and arrested Woods in Dallas.

Diewon Cyphers was wanted by the Lubbock Police Department for Aggravated Robbery and allegedly shot a man in the leg.

Lubbock Police Department requested the assistance of the NTFTF and three days later the suspect was located and arrested. During the encounter another subject who possessed crack cocaine was arrested. During the search warrant of the arrest location, three handguns and an assault rifle were recovered and additional prosecution of the two men for the seizures is pending.

"Violent and dangerous fugitives often flee the communities where they committed their crimes and continue their criminal activities while fleeing from justice," said Acting U.S. Marshal Richard Taylor for the Northern District of Texas.  "The long-standing partnerships the U.S. Marshals Service has with its federal, state, and local partners is no match for these fugitives; we pursue them wherever they run until they're caught."

The concept behind interagency law enforcement operations such as Operation VR12 evolved largely from regional and district task forces. Since the 1980s, the U.S. Marshals Service has combined their resources and expertise with local, state and federal agencies to find and apprehend dangerous fugitives. Operation VR12 continued this tradition.