U.S. Marshals arrest 148 fugitives across Valley as part of "Operation Justice"

Posted at 8:18 AM, Apr 01, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-01 13:20:01-04

Nearly 150 fugitives were arrested this week as part of "Operation Justice 2017," a metro-wide fugitive roundup orchestrated by the U.S. Marshals Service.

Several law enforcement agencies from Maricopa and Pinal counties took part in the three-day operation that targeted violent fugitives wanted for high-level felonies including sexual assault, robbery, aggravated assault and dangerous drug offenses.  

Among the fugitives arrested was 37-year-old Nicholas Elkins, who was wanted by the Tempe Police Department for allegedly severely beating his mother and grandmother. 

Elkins faces several charges including stalking and aggravated assault. 

Authorities also arrested 48-year-old Christopher Ralston who was wanted on charges of kidnapping and domestic violence. 

Marshals say Ralston barricaded himself beneath the floor of his home in Surprise for eight hours as he was confronted by the task force. He was eventually removed from the home and taken into custody. 

Of the 148 fugitives arrested, 17 included sex offenses and sex assaults, 22 for homicide and aggravated assault and 16 for robbery and firearms offenses. 

Marshals say an additional 13 arrests were made for charges including obstruction of justice, extortion and child abuse. 

Law enforcement seized numerous illegal street drugs as part of the operation as well, according to officials. 

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