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January 18, 10

NEWS / U.S. Marshals Arrest Suspect Sought in Florida Triple Homicide

Charges stem from December 28 shooting and stabbing

HARRISBURG, PA – U.S. Marshal Michael R. Regan announced today that the U.S. Marshals Service (USMS) arrested Esteban Merchan in York.

Merchan was being sought by authorities in Hillsborough County, Florida as a suspect in connection with a triple homicide on December 28, 2009. Four men were attacked in the backyard of a home on Oakwood Avenue in Brandon. Two of the victims had been fatally shot. The third victim was stabbed to death. The only surviving victim, a 21-year old, was believed to have been stabbed by Merchan. Police officials in Florida describe the incident as being drug-related. Investigators believe Merchan to be a known member of the Bloods gang.

Another man, Prentiss Earl Jackson of Orlando, was arrested New Year’s Eve in connection with the triple homicide. Jackson was charged with first-degree murder and other related offenses.

The fugitive case on Merchan was being worked by the U.S. Marshals Service’s Fugitive Task Force in Tampa.

On January 8, the U.S. Marshals Service’s Fugitive Task Force in the Middle District of Pennsylvania acted on investigative leads provided by their counterparts in Tampa. Working closely with officers from the York City Police Department and the Pennsylvania State Police, U.S. Marshals focused on an address in the 200 block of East Boundary Avenue in York.

On January 8 at approximately 9:30 pm, Merchan was apprehended by U.S. Marshals as he ran from the target location. Merchan was uncooperative, and refused to identify himself. U.S. Marshals and local officers turned him over to York County Central Booking.

Merchan, 19 years of age from Kissimmee, Florida, was charged as a fugitive from justice. He is being held at the York County Prison without bail, pending his extradition back to Hillsborough County.




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