Thursday, September 9, 2010

US Marshalls catch sex crime fugitive from California in Las Vegas

Joshua Willard, 19, a major fugitive wanted on state charges in California for rape was arrested in the Las Vegas valley this morning by members of the U.S. Marshals led fugitive task force Nevada FIST. (Fugitive Investigative Strike Team.)

Willard was being sought on a warrant issued in San Diego, charging him with rape, robbery, and assault. The charges stem from a September 1, 2010, incident in which Willard is believed to have lured a 27-year-old mentally handicapped woman away from the downtown bus station. The victim suffered serious injuries in the attack.

Willard was located and taken into custody at approximately 10:30 a.m. in the vicinity of Sahara Ave. and Paradise Blvd. The arrest was a result of an ongoing joint investigation consisting of investigators from both San Diego and Las Vegas. Willard is currently awaiting extradition back to California at the Clark County Detention Center.

“This arrest serves as both a firm warning to criminals and fugitives from other jurisdictions seeking safe haven in Las Vegas, and a continued declaration of service to the honest, hard working, and law abiding citizens of our communities throughout the valley,” said District of Nevada U.S. Marshal Christopher Hoye III. “The men and women of all law enforcement in Las Vegas will continue to work vigilantly in removing such criminals from our streets in order to make this city a much safer place to work, play, and live.”

Nevada FIST is a permanent task force that brings together the resources and expertise of state, local, and federal agencies in a coordinated effort to arrest dangerous and violent fugitives. Nevada FIST is led by the U.S. Marshals and is comprised of Deputy U.S. Marshals and law enforcement officers from the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, the Nevada Department of Public Safety, and the Nevada Department of Corrections.

Additional information about the U.S. Marshals can be found at

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