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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT:
November 29, 2005
1:30 PM (Eastern Standard Time)

District of Nevada, (702) 388-6355, or
U.S. Marshals Public Affairs, (202) 307-9065

 
ONE OF AMERICA’S MOST WANTED FUGITIVES ARRESTED IN LAS VEGAS

Jody Kenneth Thompson, a U.S. Marshals Service Top 15 Most Wanted Fugitive, was arrested today in Las Vegas, NV by members of the U.S. Marshals Service and the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department’s SWAT Team and Robbery Detail. An anonymous tipster provided information to the Marshals as to the whereabouts of Thompson. Investigators developed this information which led them to an apartment in the 3900 block of Mountain Vista St. As investigators from both departments closed in on the address, Thompson fled and ran to a residence in the 4500 block of Margarete Ave where he forced entry and attempted to hide. Thompson was found a short time later and placed under arrest without further incident.

United States Marshals Service Acting Director John Clark stated, “The arrest of this fugitive was a collaborative effort that demonstrated that law enforcement working with the community and the media serves the public interest.” District of Nevada Acting United States Marshal Fidencio Rivera stated, “We are grateful for the opportunity to provide our expertise in assisting our state and local partners in order to remove violent fugitives from our streets. Today one individual who showed flagrant disregard for the judicial system is behind bars. Crime does not pay.”

Thompson is the man who mastered a prison break fueled by love and a free ride. On the morning of August 25, 2005, Thompson and others who were serving their sentences at the Northern Nevada Correctional Center (NNCC) were assigned to load furniture onto a delivery truck going to the Lovelock Correctional Center. At approximately 8:30 a.m. the delivery truck departed NNCC. However, at approximately 11:30 a.m. Thompson was unaccounted for and believed to have escaped on the truck.

Ironically he escaped with the assistance of Nevada Department of Corrections (NDOC) employee and love interest Ana Kastner. Kastner allegedly smuggled a cell phone into the prison and gave it to Thompson on or about August 13, two weeks prior to his escape. Their romantic relationship and her involvement were discovered during the investigation into Thompson’s escape. She was arrested on August 27.

Thompson, 25, was serving 12 consecutive sentences of 30 to 150 months each for charges of kidnapping, robbery with a deadly weapon, and burglary. On September 2, he picked up his old habits while on the run when he allegedly committed an armed robbery of a bar outside of Las Vegas, NV, where he managed to escape with more than $18,000.

On that same day, authorities were hot on Thompson’s trail, and located him at a residence in Las Vegas. While preparing to arrest him, a vehicle with a lone female driver exited the targeted residence. Law enforcement officers pulled over the vehicle only blocks away from the residence in an attempt to interview the driver regarding her knowledge and association with the fugitive. After pulling over and stopping, the female driver exited the vehicle and approached the police patrol car. At the same time, a male appeared in the driver’s seat of the vehicle and drove off, leading authorities on a high-speed chase.

Thompson eventually crashed the vehicle, but led authorities on a foot pursuit. While on foot, he committed an armed home invasion and stole a car, which resulted in another high-speed chase. He crashed this car as well, but managed to again evade capture. Further investigation revealed that he allegedly committed another armed robbery in the Las Vegas area since his escape, where he netted more than $27,000. Thompson had not been seen since, until today.

U.S. Marshals are the nation’s primary fugitive hunting organization and capture more federal fugitives each year than all other national law enforcement agencies combined. Four of the individuals on their 15 MOST WANTED list have been apprehended in recent months.

Thompson’s wanted poster, and original wanted release, are on the U.S. Marshals website, www.usmarshals.gov .