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Jason Brown, one of FBI's most-wanted fugitives, could be hiding among Mormons, agent says

Jason Derek Brown Date added: Dec. 8, 2007 Wanted for first degree murder, armed robbery Jason Brown is wanted in Phoenix, Ariz. for the alleged November 2004 shooting death of an armored car guard outside a movie theater before fleeing on a bicycle with $56,000 in a duffel bag. Brown has ties to California, Arizona and Utah and has previously traveled to France and Mexico. Brown may also be in possession of a Glock 9mm and a .45 caliber handgun. Federal Bureau of Investigation

Jason Derek Brown
Federal Bureau of Investigation

(AP) SALT LAKE CITY - Jason Derek Brown, a one-time Salt Lake City resident sought in the fatal shooting of an Arizona armored truck courier, could be taking advantage of philanthropic Mormon church members, the FBI's lead agent on the case said.

PICTURES: FBI's Top 10 Most Wanted Fugitives

Brown, 43, is accused of shooting Robert Keith Palomares five times in the head at close range with a .45-caliber handgun on Nov. 29, 2004, outside a Phoenix theater. The FBI says Brown made off with $56,000 on a bicycle he ditched that yielded his fingerprints.

The last confirmed sighting of Brown was in August 2008, when a friend spotted the fugitive at a stoplight near the Hogle Zoo in Salt Lake City, where he lived just months prior to the murder. He bought a handgun at a Kearns gun store two weeks before the crime, and the weapon was later linked to Palomares' death.

Brown is good at lying and convincing people that he's someone else and could be taking advantage of a Mormon church member's philanthropy, FBI Agent Lance Leising said.

Leising told The Salt Lake Tribune that his ability to blend in is one reason he's on the Top 10 Most Wanted list.

"With the commonness of his name and how he looks, like a surfer dude in California, we've had more tips (about this) fugitive than any other on 'America's Most Wanted.' It's caused us to chase leads all around the world," Leising said.

Brown served a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in France. He later earned a master's degree in business, and started two businesses.

An Arizona arrest warrant was issued in 2004 charging Brown with first-degree murder and armed robbery. Brown later was charged with unlawful flight to avoid prosecution in a federal arrest warrant.

The matching fingerprints came from an application Brown submitted weeks earlier in Utah for a concealed-weapons permit. Utah authorities held the license because of the shooting, and it was never issued.

  • Crimesider Staff

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