In its first year, Colorado’s elite Fugitive Apprehension Unit found 812 parole fugitives, reports the Denver Post. “The team has done a phenomenal job,” said Alison Morgan of the state corrections department. “The results speak for themselves. The team members are excited about it.” Fugitives usually discover their desperado days are over when they find themselves surrounded by a half-dozen well-armed officers wearing body armor. “We do this very low-key, very strategically,” said the unit’s director, a former police chief.
Agents found fugitives in every conceivable circumstance: one on death row in Texas; another living as a woman in Arizona; another buried 6 feet under in an Oklahoma cemetery; a repeat child molester staying in a Denver motel room with two kids; and a paroled robber communing with a Hawaii branch of the Hare Krishnas. The unit was formed Aug. 1, 2013, in the aftermath of the murders five months earlier of Nathan Leon and former prisons chief Tom Clements. Parolee Evan Ebel shot both men before his parole officer had even sought an arrest warrant, even though Ebel had cut his ankle bracelet six days earlier. Colorado officials allowed a Post reporter and photographer to tag along with the unit last week on condition that the journalists did not identify any members of the unit.