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U.S. Marshals Arrest California Child Abductor in Arizona

Sedona AZOn April 22, 2020, the U.S. Marshals Service led Arizona WANTED Violent Offenders Task Force, working in conjunction with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), arrested a dangerous fugitive and recovered a missing child in Golden Valley, Arizona.

“Armed fugitives that have abducted a child and is defiant to lawful orders places the community and law enforcement in harm’s way and must remain a priority,” said United States Marshal David Gonzales. “The US Marshals led task force members were joined by local and federal agencies who executed a plan that safely took custody of the child before arresting Messner, who will now be sent to California to answer for his crimes.”

On April 5, Dustin Messner, 37, abducted his eight-year-old son from Stockton, California. An arrest warrant was issued for Messner, who was being charged with Child Custody Deprivation. California law enforcement immediately began an investigation to determine the whereabouts of both father and son. The ensuing investigation revealed that Messner fled the state of California.

During his two weeks on the run, Messner made numerous comments and posts to his social media accounts expressing his belief that man’s law had no authority over him and that he would not be returning his son. Messner also made several threats to any law enforcement who attempted to take his son from him. These posts included video of firearms assumed to be in Messner’s possession.

On April 20, the District Attorney Investigator’s Office in San Joaquin County, CA, requested the assistance of the U.S. Marshals Service in locating and apprehending Messner. On April 22, members of the U.S. Marshals Service District of Arizona-Flagstaff Division and the ATF conducted an apprehension and recovery operation at a home on Joseph Drive in Golden Valley, AZ. That evening, task force members arrested Messner and safely recovered the missing boy before turning him over to Child Protective Services. Dustin Messner was transported to the Mohave County Detention Center while he awaits extradition back to San Joaquin County, CA. His son was happily reunited with his mother on April 23.

The U.S. Marshals Service supports the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children’s (NCMEC) mission to protect children from victimization by providing assistance to federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. Since the U.S. Marshals’ partnership with NCMEC began in 2005, the Marshals have helped recover 1,507 missing children.

A critical mission of the U.S. Marshals Service is enforcement of the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006. The U.S. Marshals Service is committed to assisting local and state law enforcement with investigating and apprehending sex offenders who are not in compliance with their registration and fugitive sex offenders.

The U.S. Marshals Service led Arizona WANTED Violent Offender Task Force is responsible for more than 1748 arrests in the last year. Additional information about the U.S. Marshals Service can be found at www.usmarshals.gov.


  1. John Shoemaker says:

    Thank you, Arizona law enforcement, for returning this child home to his mother and we appreciate the job you do to keep all of us safe.

  2. Elaine says:

    If you appreciate law enforcement than you know Biden progressive policies threaten more children by allowing open borders.

    Trump got a handle on the crime and the criminals streaming over under Biden’s VP time and proved during the debate that it was Biden who built the cages and kept the kids separated. Democrats can’t control themselves from destroying America.

    Mexican people on talk shows and news say it’s a bad day for Mexico to change border cooperation which had finally slowed the drug cartels flowing through Mexico under Homeland cooperation. The Rocky Point mayor and dozens of people were murdered by cartels and lots of people here used to go there or went there but no more. Cartels were preying on RVs and cars and people under Biden. We had a peace for a while these past two or three years.

    I’m beginning to believe that the Democrats began undermining America during Biden VP and they got the power back to make more money off our backs. Prove me wrong. Prove to me your not in it for drug and people and weapons trafficking like before.

  3. MaryDee Gonzales says:

    Black Lives Matter was put up for a Nobel peace prize. You can’t make this (deleted by editor) up. As my favorite Canadian satirist wrote and others are saying “The mostly peaceful white rioters dressed in black who mostly burn ordinary things while generally pillaging and rioting and randomly destroying inanimate objects belonging to people of color was nominated today for almost being peaceful on not one occasion.”

  4. Jesé says:

    OMG hysterical MDG wicked funny

  5. Nancy, Sedona says:

    In the last month alone, 1,050 lbs of the deadly narcotic fentanyl was seized at the southwest border. This is enough to kill 72% of the U.S. population. 27 times more fentanyl was seized in June 2021 compared to June 2018. That doesn’t count the greater majority that got through undetected by illegal immigration and criminal gangs because the border patrol and ICE were told to back off. Secure the Arizona border. It’s ridiculous and wrong that elite bicoastals in Washington DC are dictating what happens here in our state and for that matter any other state. That’s why we are independent states; we know better what our state needs than some monoculture in D.C. surrounded by the strictest gun laws in the nation and in the top tier of highest gun deaths. Doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out the cause of their problem. If you don’t want those drugs in Sedona, then don’t encourage lawbreakers here and support our police being vigilant and proactive.

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