Strike team nabs alleged violent fugitive on $2M warrant; how it works

Stock Photo | St. George News

ST. GEORGE — A California fugitive with a $2 million warrant issued for his arrest was located in St. George just hours after local authorities received information that the man may be in the area.

Thanks to a multiagency collaboration and the local Violent Fugitive Apprehension Strike Team, fugitive Anthony Blymyer was quickly located by officers and taken into custody at 6:33 p.m. Tuesday.

The incident began earlier in the day when the St. George Police Investigations Unit received a call from the Calaveras County Sheriff’s Office in California notifying detectives that a violent fugitive may have fled to the St. George area, St. George Police Lt. Johnny Heppler said.

Anthony Blymyer apprehended by VFAST on $2 million warrant out of California, St. George, Utah, July 19, 2016 | Photo courtesy of the Washington County Sheriff's Office
Anthony Blymyer was apprehended by VFAST on a $2 million warrant out of California, St. George, Utah, July 19, 2016 | Photo courtesy of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office

Blymyer was wanted out of California on multiple child sex abuse charges, police said, including rape of a child, a first-degree felony.

St. George detectives immediately contacted the local office of the U.S. Marshals Service and mobilized VFAST.

Working in cooperation with the Marshals Office and California authorities, the local strike force obtained several potential addresses for the fugitive, Heppler said. Once detectives confirmed Blymyer’s location, the man was arrested without incident.

St. George Police investigators then contacted the Calaveras County Sheriff’s Office to update them on the arrest.

Blymyer was subsequently booked into Washington County Purgatory Correctional Facility on the first-degree felony warrant and is awaiting extradition, Heppler said.

Bail was set at $2 million, he said, mainly because of the nature of the offenses.


Working together, quickly and efficiently, is a top priority for law enforcement, he said, and mobilizing the VFAST team kicks that process into high gear.

The St. George Police Department launched the Violent Fugitive Apprehension Strike Team to locate and arrest the most violent offenders, those who pose the greatest danger to society, Heppler said. So when the team mobilizes, it moves with purpose and speed. Whether it is gang-related or finding a sexual predator, VFAST is specially trained to handle high profile cases.

VFAST is a collaborative effort that utilizes the talents and resources of several different agencies, both state and federal, networking with law enforcement all over the country, Heppler said, widening the pool of resources and information that provides assistance in the apprehension of violent fugitives.

“Each task force is also designed to work together, with standardized procedures,” Heppler said, “all over the United States.”

The Blymyer arrest is a perfect illustration of how a fugitive wanted in California can be arrested in St. George within hours of a request for help.

Heppler also said the U.S. Marshals Office plays a critical role in the strike force’s structure, providing the backbone of federal jurisdiction when high profile fugitives are wanted in one state and found in another or when they move from state to state or even between jurisdictions.

“It’s several agencies and departments that work as a single unit with one goal” Heppler said.

A statement released by the St. George Police Department on Wednesday afternoon summarizes the efforts of all involved, and a portion of that statement reads:

No matter which division we are a part of, each of our officers take great pride and work with a focused eye on protecting this community that we love. Great work to our VFAST team and to Calaveras County Sheriff’s Office.

This report is based on preliminary information provided by law enforcement or other emergency responders and may not contain the full scope of findings.

Persons arrested or charged are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law or as otherwise decided by a trier-of-fact.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2016, all rights reserved.












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  • knobe July 21, 2016 at 10:33 am

    WOW . . . extremely grateful that SGPD & the Marshall’s got this guy .
    Sadly , I don’t think there is a cure for pedophiles at this time &
    They should be quarantined forever , or until a cure is found .
    Just using the old ‘punishment’ formula & them letting them loose when time is served is flawed .
    They will still be looking for kids when released .
    Public safety & most importantly , child safety is the thing to focus on .
    We don’t let people with ebola walk around , neither should we let pedos !


    • RealMcCoy July 21, 2016 at 1:54 pm

      Put him down like a rabid dog.

  • Chris July 21, 2016 at 11:58 am

    Didn’t know there was a “potential” cure for pedophilia. Nonetheless, incarceration is seldom, if ever, the answer. Get ’em out of here forever. That may turn a few heads; ya know, get people thinkin’. The judicial system is what’s flawed.

  • Henry July 21, 2016 at 6:55 pm

    There is a possible alternative to incarceration for sex offenders. According to Wikipedia, “In Iowa, as in California and Florida, offenders may be sentenced to chemical castration in all cases involving serious sex offenses.” Even the ACLU “do(es) not oppose the use of antiandrogen drugs for sex offenders under carefully controlled circumstances as an alternative to incarceration.” Perhaps our Utah lawmakers might consider such a law for our state.

  • loveofnature July 22, 2016 at 10:26 am

    This is not true. He did not flee from California, he was begged to come from those who love and know him eight months ago. These charges were made recently by the mother, only after she was told he was going to get married. The truth will prevail. He is an amazing person and everyone who knows him knows that he would never be capable of these horrific acts. the sad part of this is everyone takes information at face value and commits to the individual being guilty. Not only did the mother create this but has stated she will bail him out as soon as he gets to California. Don’t judge until you know the facts. As stated above he was arrested without incident, which is because he is not a violent person. He walked out willingly because he’s not guilty and did not know why he was being arrested. A guilty person would put up a fight and know why he was being arrested.

    • Danielle November 17, 2018 at 10:07 pm

      U dont know real story.he is a sick man,and needs help and to spend the rest of his life in jail.

  • .... July 22, 2016 at 6:33 pm

    Talk about a Real Low Life eh ?

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