U.S. Marshals Service inserts itself into Family Court drama

Once again, the U.S. Marshals Service is accused of inserting itself into a case to benefit an alleged child abuser.

Flag of the U.S. Marshals Service. (Public domain image, via U.S. DOJ)

WASHINGTON, April 14, 2017 — Once again, the U.S. Marshals Service is accused of inserting itself into a case to benefit an alleged child abuser. In January 2017, Kristi Newberry Brooks of North Carolina turned herself in after the U.S. Marshals Service put out a nationwide warrant.

Brooks had taken off with her daughter after making a series of allegations in family court that her ex-boyfriend was molesting their daughter. She disappeared in December 2015, on the eve of an emergency hearing in which it was presumed custody would change.

“I went into hiding with my daughter on December 30, 2015. This was after years of losing battles with the courts, DSS, and local law enforcement,” said Brooks, explaining the reason she took off with her daughter.

“I had been trying to protect my daughter from a documented pedophile who is just above the law here. The dad is from a very prominent family and well connected to those in power here. The dad had filed a fraudulent emergency custody motion that was set to be heard on December 31.”

Brooks provided medical records for her daughter and two other children who lived with her ex-boyfriend that were consistent with sexual abuse, including symptoms like vaginal and yeast infections. Brooks said all the infections went away once all contact between her daughter and her ex-boyfriend was blocked.

Brooks told this CDN reporter that once the U.S. Marshals got involved in January 2017, she felt she had no choice but turn herself in:

“I surrendered on January 30, 2017 after the U.S. Marshals were called in out of nowhere due to a criminal warrant being issued, again out of nowhere. The Marshals made it clear that I had no option. I was left with the option of cooperating and facing a local charge, or not cooperate and possibly face federal charges as well as have my parental rights terminated, along with anyone who had helped me facing federal charges. Not wanting to face federal charges and have my rights terminated, and definitely not wanting those who helped facing charges, I surrendered.”

Brooks arrived back in Union County, North Carolina on January 2017 to face charges of child abduction. Now, less than three months later those charges have been dismissed, but not before her ex-boyfriend received sole custody with Brooks receiving only four hours of supervised visitation at a cost to her of $900 per month.

“It’s extortion,” said Brooks’ boyfriend Jeremy Bess of the supervised visitation.

Bess said that the U.S. Marshals were used to hand a child to a pedophile:

“We believe in Kristy’s case that Union county sheriff’s office presented trumped up charges to a local magistrate, got a warrant for parental abduction, utilized the services of the U.S. Marshals to traffic a child to a child molester. After the child was delivered to the father, with the help of the Marshals, the charge for parental abduction was dismissed. It’s our belief that the Marshals were utilized under false pretense.”

An email to the Union County District Attorney’s Office was left unreturned.

This case has many similarities to the Sandra Grazzini-Rucki case, where the Special Weapons and Tactics Team (SWAT) from the U.S. Marshals service arrested Grazzini-Rucki in Florida, armed with rifles. Grazzini-Rucki had helped hide two of her daughters, Gianna and Samantha, after a court granted sole custody to her ex-husband, this despite overwhelming evidence of abuse.

When Grazzini-Rucki was arrested, she was charged with child trafficking, gun running, and kidnapping. But all those charges disappeared, replaced with the charge of parental deprivation.

Initially, U.S. Marshals Services spokesman Dave Oney claimed Marshals were involved because Grazzini-Rucki was a fugitive. But when it was pointed out that her arrest warrant was sealed, he had no further comment.

These two cases have an even stronger connection, namely, that of U.S. Marshal Sean Newlin, a sex offender investigation coordinator with that agency. Newlin was intimately involved in both cases, having been a part of the SWAT team raid in the Rucki case and the point man in the Brooks case.

His involvement is even more curious since neither Grazzini-Rucki nor Kristi Newberry Brooks were accused of sex crimes. Ironically, in both cases it was their exes who were accused of sexual molestation. Yet both accused molesters now have sole custody of their children.

Jeremy Bess told this CDN reporter that he warned Newlin ahead of time that the U.S. Marshals were being used for nefarious purposes:

“At that time, I questioned the legality of the warrant. Informed him that no one else had issued a warrant for 13 months and that I didn’t understand how a warrant just appeared. Sean [Newlin] told me that the DA (District Attorney) had issued the warrant, which turned out to be a lie. I informed Sean of how Kristy went into hiding with full custody and had not been served anything stating anything other than this, and to her knowledge she still had full custody, therefore abduction charges did not apply.”

The warrant, Bess said, was not, in fact, issued by the District Attorney or a judge but by a magistrate, a judge who is supposed to handle minor manners.

An email to Sean Newlin was left unreturned and an email to Nikki Credic, a spokesperson with the U.S. Marshals Services, was also left unreturned.

Brooks still faces an obstruction of justice charge. But Bess told CDN he expects that charge to be dismissed as well.

Bess said he is even more disheartened because he has found more than one thousand outstanding warrants in Union County for crimes as serious as drug trafficking and sexual assault and he believes little is done to bring those individuals to justice. On the other hand, it appears that heaven and earth were moved to find Kristi Newberry Brooks.

Brooks said she plans on pursuing the matter further, stating “I have all intentions to pursue an investigation at the federal level into the county using the services of the Marshals under a warrant that never applied. I also plan to file a complaint on the magistrate who issued the warrant.”

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