It was a busy week for the Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force, which made seven arrests from the “Most Wanted” advertisement with the help of Blade readers.
The task force received tips from Blade readers — after seeing the ad in the April 26 edition — pointing them in the direction of fugitives, including one in New Mexico who was using an alias, U.S. Deputy Marshal Rodney Hartzel said.
Jesus Hernandez, 35, wanted for trafficking in marijuana, was arrested by marshals in Roswell, N.M. He was using the name Jesus Ornelas-Waynez, Mr. Hartzel said.
He was arrested for the charge once before, but after his family posted a $50,000 bond, he fled.
With the reader tip, the Northern Ohio marshals were able to communicate with marshals in New Mexico to make the arrest. Hernandez had been on the run since Sept. 21. He has not yet waived a hearing on extradition from New Mexico.
The marshals also arrested Kenneth Willis, 32, on seven counts of drug trafficking, Mr. Hartzel said.
“[Willis] jumped bond on a weapons charge and seven drug trafficking charges,” Mr. Hartzel said. “He had over $100,000 in bonds when he fled Toledo. We’ve been looking for him for about three months.”
Cory Smith, 40, who was highlighted in the ‘Crime of the Week’ section, was picked up for one count of burglary and two counts of assault. Smith, on March 20, broke into his girlfriend’s home through an upstairs window, authorities said. While inside, he hit his girlfriend, who was sleeping, on the face and head, then picked up a weightlifting barbell and continued to hit her in the face and head with the equipment, authorities said.
The girlfriend was taken to Mercy St. Vincent Medical Center.
Marshals tracked Smith back to the same girlfriend’s home, where he was staying, Mr. Hartzel said.
“We received a tip he was back with the victim,” he said. “We went back to the house and they wouldn’t open the door, so we gained entry and found they were upstairs together.”
After picking up Smith from a residence on Alexis Road, Mr. Hartzel happened to look in an apartment parking lot and noticed a “burnt orange copper Kia” belonging to Kristy Sanders, 24.
Marshals were then able to arrest Sanders, who was wanted for burglary, at her apartment.
Wanted by the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office, Timothy Johnson, 42, was also arrested for sexual imposition and failure to appear in court. He was also wanted for possession of cocaine.
“We put him in the paper and got him within a week,” Mr. Hartzel said.
The marshals also arrested David Ulch, 35, an unregistered sex offender, and James Covington, 29, turned himself in on one count of robbery, Mr. Hartzel said.
Contact Taylor Dungjen at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 419-724-6054.