CLIFFVIEW PILOT HAS IT FIRST: They work quietly, without fanfare, but the Florida arrest of a dangerous fugitive from New Jersey spotlights the work of U.S. Marshals.
Jeffrey Lynn Garrett had been on the run since Nov. 12 of last year, when he burst into a Mercer County bank and took a stack of cash at gunpoint, federal authorities said. Ten days later, the Pennsylvania Board of Parole violated his parole and a warrant was issued.
Two months ago, Garrett carjacked a man in Trenton, stuffed the victim into the trunk of his own car and went back to the very same bank, the U.S. Marshals Service said. This time, though, the robber shot a female teller in the stomach before fleeing with the money.
Instead of going back to the car, the robber took off.
“Miraculously, the carjacking victim in the trunk escapes,” the Marshals said in a news release. “He and the teller survive their life threatening injuries.”
Working with various law enforcement agencies — among them, the FBI, the Mercer County Sheriff’s Department and police in both Hamilton Township and Trenton — the marshals tracked Garrett down to the 6500 block of W. 5th Street in Jacksonville, Florida, where, they said, he was living with a woman.
Early this morning, with a squadron of officers in position outside the house, Garrett, 34, came out, stopped and lit a cigarette.
The marshals and local officers actually snuck up behind and got the drop on the 6-foot-1, 220-pound fugitive as he took his first drag of the day.
“He immediately fell to the ground and surrendered without incident,” the Marshals said.
Inside the house, they found what just might be the gun used to shoot the teller. Ballistics analysis results are pending.
“The United States Marshals Service New York/New Jersey Regional Fugitive Task Force was created in May 2002 specifically for removing the Jeffrey Garretts from terrorizing our communities,” a spokesman for the service said.
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