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Long arm of law catches fugitive here

A fugitive from Florida recently fell into arms of law enforcement here, literally.

The U.S. Marshals Service Southeast Regional Fugitive Task Force of Savannah announced Wednesday that its officers and some with the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office located and arrested Naples, Florida, fugitive Chayanne Rivera Morales at a Hinesville home, after Morales fell through the ceiling.

A news release from the marshals’ office said the Collier County Sheriff’s Office in Naples, wanted Morales for allegedly committing a home invasion, armed robbery in Naples in July. Morales purportedly took a firearm and other valuables from the female victim and fled the Naples area.

A task-force investigation revealed that Morales had fled to Hinesville. SERFTF personnel identified a residence here associated with Morales. So SERFTF and Liberty County sheriff's personnel surrounded it and entered after Morales’ relatives revealed that was in the residence. While searching the home, officers saw several boxes stacked under an attic access panel. 

SERFTF personnel had to clear the attic after Morales refused to come down. Officers located Morales crawling under the attic insulation. He refused to surrender to law enforcement and fell through the ceiling into a bedroom, where he was quickly subdued, according to the release. Morales was taken to the Liberty County Jail to await extradition to Florida. 

Since its inception in 2003, investigations carried out by the SERFTF have resulted in the apprehension of more than 20,000 violent fugitives in the state of Georgia, the release says. Of these arrests, more than 1,100 were fugitives wanted for homicide. The initiative is led by the U.S. Marshals Service and combines federal, state and local agencies. The SERFTF has offices in Atlanta, Macon and Savannah that cover Georgia. In 2013, U.S. marshals led task forces arrested more than 90,000 state and local fugitives on felony charges.

More information about the marshals and other Georgia fugitives can be found at

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