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Fugitive arrested by U.S. Marshals in Vermillion Township

A 29-year-old man convicted of burglary and domestic assault had violated his parole and was using an assumed name when he was arrested Feb. 13 in Vermillion Township by U.S. Marshals.

Joseph Thomas Hawkinson, of Crystal, Minn., had an outstanding arrest warrant from the Minnesota Department of Corrections.

The North Star Fugitive Task Force, made up of agents from the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and led by the U.S. Marshals Service's Minneapolis office, determined that Hawkinson had been living in Marshan Township under the false name of Wesley Scoggins.

The investigation led the task force to conduct surveillance at Srills Lawn and Garden, what agents believed to be Hawkinson's place of employment. Srills, located at 19360 Hogan Ave., specializes in non-toxic insecticides and herbicides.

The agents entered the business and approached the individual who matched photos of Hawkinson. He was arrested, searched and found to be carrying a loaded Luger 9mm gun. He is prohibited from possessing a firearm due to a 2010 conviction for second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon and assault by strangulation.

He is now charged with one felony count of illegally possessing a firearm — a charge which carries a maximum 15-year jail penalty and/or $30,000 fine.

Agents then searched his residence in Marshan Township where he was residing with a woman who said they had been living together since December 2016.

A search of the residence revealed a shotgun, multiple boxes of ammunition, and a fake security card in the name of Wesley Scoggins.

Hawkinson admitted to using the name, claiming that he made it up. However, agents found that Wesley Scoggins is a real person, the criminal complaint said.

In September 2009, Hawkinson assaulted his girlfriend by dragging her by the ankles into his basement and choking her until she lost consciousness. According to court documents, he also pushed her head into a concrete pillar, put a gun to her head and threatened to kill her.

When the girlfriend told him she no longer wanted to see him, he broke into her home, carrying a gun. Police were called to the scene where they arrested him.

As a result of his conviction, he is required to register as a predatory offender. Hawkinson was not in compliance at the time of his arrest.

His omnibus hearing is set for March 9.

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