Operation Grinch Stopper results in 16 arrests in Yuma
Sixteen people from Yuma County were arrested in a two-day statewide multi-jurisdictional fugitive enforcement operation led by the U.S. Marshals Service in Arizona and dubbed Operation Grinch Stopper.
Held Tuesday through Thursday, the fugitive enforcement operation targeted fugitives with extensive criminal histories wanted for crimes that historically increase during the holidays, such as robbery, burglary, theft, larceny and other related stolen property crimes.
Operation Grinch Stopper netted 143 arrests throughout Arizona, with seven arrests in Flagstaff, 82 arrests in Phoenix, 38 arrests in Tucson, as well as the 16 arrests in Yuma. As a result, 265 warrants were cleared.
The goal was not only to 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.
Those apprehended in the Yuma area included:
• Antonio Cervantes, 44, was arrested on Dec. 11 in Somerton on a warrant issued Nov. 30 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 Wednesday. He was wanted for multiple shoplifting, theft and fraud offenses.
• Deandre Wells, 23, was wanted on several warrants for 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. Operation Grinch participants developed information that Wells was at his mother's house and arrested him there.
• Juan Alire, 23, was arrested in Yuma on a probation violation warrant with an original charge of larceny.
• Rene Alcaraz, 32, was arrested on Tuesday in Yuma. Alcaraz was wanted on a federal pretrial release violation warrant issued Dec. 7 on his original charge of possession of dangerous drugs.
According to Fidencio Rivera, U.S. Marshals Service District of Arizona chief deputy, “Operation Grinch Stopper, a statewide 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 Nov. 18. Fortunately, despite his injuries, Sgt. Carpenter survived this ordeal.”
Operation Grinch Stopper involved numerous law enforcement officers from several contributing agencies throughout Arizona, including 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 the Yuma Sector Border Patrol.
James Gilbert can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 539-6854. Find him on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/YSJamesGilbert or on Twitter at @YSJamesGilbert.