Rock Springs, WY. – An armed federal fugitive with an extensive history of felony convictions was captured in Rock Springs Friday afternoon by a team of sheriff’s deputies and detectives, DCI special agents, and United States Marshals, Sweetwater County Sheriff Mike Lowell said Saturday morning.
Jerry Joseph Romero, 41, of Salt Lake City, Utah, wanted for Probation Violation (original charge Felon in Possession of a Firearm and Ammunition) was tracked to a residence at Gateway Village in west Rock Springs.
The arrest team closed in. Detective Matt Wharton located Romero hiding in the residence’s back yard and he fled, jumping a fence, with Wharton and DCI agents in close pursuit. As he ran, he attempted to draw a handgun he was carrying on his right hip, a Taurus Judge shotgun revolver, but appeared to have difficulty with his holster’s release mechanism.
Pursuing officers, including Sergeants Joe Tomich and Rich Fischer and Deputy Sheriff Amanda Buller, took Romero to the ground, where he violently resisted their efforts to handcuff him and continued his efforts to draw his gun.
A Taser was deployed and Romero was disarmed and taken into custody.
In a hat Romero was wearing detectives found a little over 26 grams of methamphetamine, and it was determined that there were children, two toddlers and an infant, at the Gateway Village residence where he was found.
As of press time, Romero is charged with Attempted Aggravated Assault (Habitual Criminal Convicted of Three or More Offenses), Attempted Use of a Firearm while Committing a Felony, Possession of a Deadly Weapon with Unlawful Intent, Wearing or Carrying a Concealed Weapon, felony-grade Possession of a Controlled Substance (Methamphetamine), Possession of Methamphetamine with Intent to Distribute, Child Endangerment with Methamphetamine, and Interference with a Peace Officer, in addition to his federal charges.
During the course of their hunt for Romero, detectives determined that Romero’s criminal convictions include the following:
– Tamper with Evidence – District Court, Salt Lake City, Utah – June 9, 1998 (Sentenced to 0-5 years.)
– Weapon Offense – United States District Court – October 27, 2005 (Sentenced to 24 months, plus three years supervised release.)
– Felon in Possession of a Firearm – United States District Court – January 29, 2013 (Sentenced to 38 months.)
– Receiving Stolen Vehicle – 3rd District Court, Salt Lake City, Utah – April 15, 2016
– Possession of Controlled Substance with Intent to Distribute – 3rd District Court, Salt Lake City, Utah – April 15, 2016
According to a 2013 Fox 13 Salt Lake news report, “Jerry Joseph Romero, aka ‘Cycle,’ kicked in the back door of an apartment and showed a .357-caliber bullet to a person who lived there, according to a probable cause statement. Romero allegedly threatened to take the victim hostage and have a shootout with police if the victim called them.” (County detectives have been informed that Romero’s aka is actually “Psycho.”)
Romero remains behind bars at the Sweetwater County Detention Center in Rock Springs pending an initial court appearance.