Incident highlights the work of CDCR’s Fugitive Apprehension Team

On Nov. 5, nine members of a task force made up of agents and officers from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR), the U.S. Marshals Service (USMS) and the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office responded to a residence in Fresno after receiving a tip that a man wanted for several felonies, including false imprisonment, kidnapping, sexual assault and torture, was there.

Four of the task force members are agents with CDCR’s Fugitive Apprehension Team.

The task force team began surveillance of the residence and located the man, later identified as Larry Vue.

As some task force members established a perimeter, others started searching the residence. Vue, who was hiding under a pile of clothing in the garage, suddenly opened fire. The first round hit and wounded a CDCR agent in his chest. By all accounts, the bulletproof vest he was wearing saved his life.

Vue ran outside and continued to shoot at the task force officers until he was shot and killed.  In addition to the wounded CDCR agent, a marshal was injured by gunfire and a sheriff was wounded from shrapnel.

“I had an opportunity to speak with our agent and to let him know that the entire CDCR family is relieved that he is recovering and that his bulletproof vest saved his life,” said CDCR Secretary Jeff Beard. “He is another great example of the brave and dedicated CDCR employees who are committed to keeping our prisons and communities safe.”

All three injured task force officers were treated and released. They are at home recovering.

“The Fugitive Apprehension Team investigates, locates and arrests high-risk parolees-at-large,” said Larry Miranda, acting chief the Office of Correctional Safety, the part of CDCR that represents investigative, security and intelligence functions for CDCR. “But because the team is part of this task force, they also look for other dangerous offenders wanted by our law enforcement partners,” explained Miranda.

The Fugitive Apprehension Team was created in 1996 and since then, has arrested tens of thousands of offenders wanted for violent crimes like murder, rape, arson and gang activity. Last year alone, the team made approximately 2,800 arrests.

CDCR and the USMS have a long history of collaborating with each other. That relationship became more formal in 2006 when Fugitive Apprehension Team agents were first sworn in and deputized as U.S. Marshals.

The Fugitive Apprehension Team is part of the USMS Pacific-Southwest Regional Fugitive Task Force. This association allows CDCR team agents to have nationwide capability in locating parole absconders.

“CDCR agents know parolees and their access to offender files and other intelligence is often critical to investigations. The USMS has technological resources and manpower that assist agents in the field,” Miranda said.

In addition to its role in apprehending dangerous offenders, the Fugitive Apprehension Team has the primary responsibility for locating and arresting escapees from the Division of Juvenile Justice.