Public Safety

U.S. Marshals arrest El Salvador teen in Marion who is wanted in Nebraska on terrorist and burglary charges

Authorities believe he was doing derecho construction work

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CEDAR RAPIDS — An 18-year-old El Salvadoran, who U.S. marshals believe was in Iowa working with construction crews doing derecho repairs, was arrested Wednesday in Marion on terrorism and burglary charges out of Nebraska.

Deputy U.S. Marshal Nick Bonifazi said the Cedar Rapids office was contacted last week by the marshal’s service in Omaha, Neb., about Elias Lopez-Chavez, 18. He is wanted on an outstanding warrant from Douglas County, Neb., on two counts of terrorist threats and one count of use of a firearm to commit a felony — burglary.

Lopez-Chavez also has a warrant for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement deportation, according to the marshal’s office in Cedar Rapids.

The marshal’s service didn’t have further details on the charges against Lopez-Chavez, except that they stemmed from a Sept. 17 home invasion.

Bonifazi said the Cedar Rapids office worked with the Omaha office to narrow down the area where they thought Lopez-Chavez had been working. Surveillance was set up in multiple locations in Cedar Rapids and Marion. Authorities identified Lopez-Chavez about 1 p.m. Wednesday leaving a commercial business in the 800 block of Seventh Avenue in Marion.

He was taken into custody after “minor resistance” and will remain in the Linn County Detention Center pending extradition to Nebraska.

Marion and Cedar Rapids police, the Linn County Sheriff’s Office and ICE agents in Cedar Rapids assisted in the arrest, Bonifazi said.

Comments: (319) 398-8318; trish.mehaffey@thegazette.com

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