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For Immediate Release

Contact:
May 13, 2011 DUSM Amanda Lyons, District of South Carolina  
(803) 765-5479
U.S. Marshals Arrest “Rock Hill Most Wanted”

Columbia, SC - On Thursday the U.S. Marshals located and apprehended Carlos Luis Pinelas-Mejia in San Juan de la Maguana, Dominican Republic.  Pinelas-Mejia has been wanted in connection for the alleged homicide of Amber Marie Schiavone since January 2008.  Pinelas-Mejia lived in the Cherry Grove Apartments in Rock Hill where the victim’s body was discovered. 

Rock Hill Investigators developed information shortly after the homicide that led them to believe Pinelas-Mejia fled to the Dominican Republic.  After developing this information Rock Hill requested the U.S. Marshals assistance in locating and apprehending Pinelas-Mejia.  In February 2008 Operation Intercept, the U.S. Marshals fugitive led task force, confirmed Pinelas-Mejia had returned to his native country and requested the aid of the Deputy U.S. Marshals located in San Juan, Dominican Republic.

After years of investigation and follow up on numerous leads Pinelas-Mejia was arrested without incident on Thursday May 12, 2011 and taken to a local holding facility in the custody of the Dominican National Police. 

Kelvin Washington, U.S. Marshal for the District of South Carolina stated: “Rock Hill Police and the U.S. Marshals are waiting for Pinelas-Mejia to have extradition hearings and begin the process of return to South Carolina to face his alleged outstanding charges.   We are excited to work with our law enforcement partners domestic and internationally to bring fugitives to justice.  This is another example of how law enforcement communities can work together across state lines and national borders.” 

Rock Hill Police Chief John Gregory stated “We originally thought this suspect may have disappeared forever.  I am thankful for the U.S. Marshals assistance for capturing this violent suspect.  I feel this will bring closure for the family and justice for our community.”

Established in 1789, the United States Marshals Service is the nation’s oldest federal law enforcement agency. In fiscal 2010, the Marshals arrested more than 36,100 federal fugitives, clearing 39,400 felony warrants and arrested 11,072 sex offenders.  Marshal’s Service-led task forces like South Carolina’s Operation Intercept arrested 81,900 state and local fugitives, clearing 108,200 felony warrants. Locally, Operation Intercept arrested over 2,500 South Carolina fugitives during that same period.

Additional information about the U.S. Marshals can be found at http://www.usmarshals.gov.

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America’s Oldest Federal Law Enforcement Agency