Public Safety

Wanted sex offender from Waterloo caught during eclipse in Cedar Rapids

Authorities say he led them on chase then hid in yard waste container

CEDAR RAPIDS — A Waterloo man wanted on sex offense charges was arrested Monday by the U.S. Marshals Service while attempting to view the solar eclipse in Cedar Rapids.

According to a news release from the U.S. Marshals Service, Ladarius M. Blue, 26, had been wanted by the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation for failing to register as a sex offender. Blue had been unaccounted for since early June, according to the release.

The search for Blue came as part of an “Operation Most Wanted” initiative by the U.S. Marshals Northern Iowa Fugitive Task Force as authorities are searching for subjects from the Iowa Sex Offender Registry who are listed as most wanted or whose whereabouts is unknown, the release states.

Working with the Linn County Sheriff’s Office, the search for Blue was narrowed this month to Cedar Rapids, according to the release. Surveillance was set up at a location near the 1300 block of G Avenue NE and law enforcement officers were able to “positively identify Blue as he exited a residence in what appeared to be an attempt to observe the solar eclipse,” the release states.

When task force members approached Blue, he led them on a foot chase through the northeast part of Cedar Rapids, according to the release.

Authorities captured Blue after “a concerned citizen” called law enforcement regarding a man climbing into their yard waste container, according to the release.

According to the release, the task force was assisted by the Linn County Sheriff’s Office and the Cedar Rapids Police Department in taking Blue into custody without further incident in the 800 block of Oakland Road NE.

Blue was transported to the Linn County Correctional Center where he faces additional charges.

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The Iowa Sex Offender Registry lists Blue’s initial offense as lascivious acts with a child.

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