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Marshals, Jcat Track Down Federal Fugitive Wanted On Methamphetamine, Firearms Charges

July 26, 2012

SALT LAKE CITY – A fugitive wanted on federal firearms and drug charges in Utah is in custody Thursday after U.S. Marshals and members of their Joint Criminal Apprehension Team (JCAT) tracked him down in a Kearns neighborhood Wednesday night.

Robert Gus Skabelund, age 44, was arrested without incident on a warrant issued for his arrest on Nov. 14, 2003. Skabelund was initially charged in an indictment returned in February 2003. He was charged in a superseding indictment returned by a federal grand jury in November 2003 with attempted manufacture of methamphetamine; possession of a firearm by a restricted person; possession of a firearm by a person addicted to a controlled substance; two counts of possession of a List 1 Chemical (red phosphorus and pseudoephedrine); possession of a List II Chemical (iodine); and possession and distribution of methamphetamine.

The charges were based on an investigation conducted by the Central Utah Narcotics Task Force. However, before the warrant to arrest Skabelund was issued, he disappeared. The U.S. Marshals Service then took over the responsibility of apprehending him. Their investigation of Skabelund took them throughout Utah and into several other states.

According to Supervisory Deputy U.S. Marshal Jim Phelps, who is the JCAT Supervisor, officers were able to learn the false identity he was using. The long investigation and hours of surveillance paid off when they were able to apprehend Skabelund in Kearns Wednesday.

A second defendant in the case, Frances Elizabeth Humphrey, was convicted of aiding and abetting in the attempted manufacture of methamphetamine; two counts of possession of a List 1 Chemical and knowing or having reasonable cause to believe that the listed chemical would be used to manufacture methamphetamine, a controlled substance; and one count of possession of a List II Chemical following a jury trial in December 2003. Humphrey was sentenced to 97 months in federal prison for the convictions. According to court records, she died in October 2009 while serving her sentence.

The case against Skabelund, who was a fugitive, was closed administratively by the court pending his arrest. The court reopened the case Thursday morning. An initial appearance will be scheduled for Skabelund.

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