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Friday 13th Wedding Rehearsal Marred for "Top 15" Fugitive

By Damon Marturion
New Business News Staff Writer

SAN DIEGO, CA -- Wearing a Super Bowl ring he never earned, using one of his many alias names, and just ahead of a string of federal and state warrants that had placed him on the United States Marshals Service's TOP 15 MOST WANTED list, fugitive James Rubin Rowe, 39, was apprehended Friday, October 13, during his wedding rehearsal in an affluent section of San Diego, California.

"We are particularly pleased with Rowe's apprehension," said John W. Marshall, Director of the U.S. Marshals Service, "because one of Rowe's many guises was to pose as a Deputy Marshal."

In addition to pretending to be a former New England Patriots football player and Deputy U.S. Marshal, he also has posed as a former U.S. Navy SEAL, Army paratrooper, Nietzschean scholar, professional skier, and as a Special Agent with both the Drug Enforcement Agency and the U.S. Customs Service. Posing as a federal law enforcement officer resulted in one of three federal counts against Rowe. Those indictments were issued by the federal court in Seattle, Washington.

Other federal counts in the 1998 indictment include making false statements in obtaining firearms, and being a felon in possession of firearms. Rowe has previously served time in a federal institution for a felony bank fraud conviction.

Rowe, named in a complaint filed earlier this year, is wanted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation for wire and bank fraud charges. He also faces local charges in Colorado and California.

Deputy U.S. Marshal Brian S. Morgan, the U.S. Marshals Service's Deputy-in-Charge of Rowe's case in the Western District of Washington, said that the fugitive was a native of the Seattle area. "Most of Rowe's alleged illegal activities have been fraud-related. But over the years, he also has displayed a remarkable talent for taking on false identities," continues Morgan. "And although he's never been charged with a violent crime, he is alleged to have carried firearms and used false law enforcement identification."

Friday's arrest was made by a detective serving on the San Diego Violent Crimes Task Force. That task force is headed by Supervisory Deputy U.S. Marshal James P. Schield, Southern District of California. "Detective Rick Carlson of the San Diego Police Department made the actual arrest," says Schield.

"Detective Carlson first learned of Rowe's whereabouts after being contacted by a complainant who had allegedly been defrauded by Rowe in the past," said Schield. "That complainant told Carlson that Rowe was preparing for a high-profile wedding in La Jolla. Rowe was arrested during his wedding rehearsal on Friday. Using the alias "Mike Grogan," Rowe was being held in county jail on local charges, and was anxiously attempting to obtain a $100,000 bail bond so he could allegedly return to La Jolla in time for his wedding on Saturday. However, just before County Jail officials released Rowe, they learned that their inmate was actually a TOP 15 Most Wanted fugitive.

"This is another outstanding example of the cooperative efforts between the Marshals Service and local law enforcement agencies such as the San Diego Police and the San Diego Sheriff's Office," said Schield.

Currently, Rowe is being held in the San Diego County Jail. He is eventually expected to be returned to the District Court in Seattle to face the federal indictment and complaint against him.

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