Michael Volpe


The US Marshals have an operation to bring in Sandra Grazzini-Rucki.

Grazzini-Rucki, who is currently in hiding in an undisclosed location, revealed she recently learned details of the operation.

She said she’s been told the US Marshals are treating her as a dangerous fugitive.

Grazzini-Rucki currently has no warrant for her arrest and is not a fugitive.

As such, any operation to bring her in by the US Marshals- which among its mandates tracks fugitives- would be illegal.

This would not be the first time that the US Marshals have inserted themselves in her case and both times previously it was also illegal.

In October 2015, a Special Weapons and Tactics Team (SWAT) equivalent broke down the doors of a time share where she was staying after midnight.

They were purportedly serving a warrant for her arrest for gun running, child trafficking and kidnapping which was initiated by Dakota County, Minnesota.

As it turned out, no such warrant existed, and Dakota County later blamed the mix up on a “glitch.”

Despite the “glitch”, Grazzini-Rucki was taken into custody that evening sent to the maximum-security portion of Osceola County Jail in Florida, where she was staying; Grazzini-Rucki had just finished a flight as a flight attendant.

The US Marshals, who were expecting to find evidence of child trafficking, found her flight bag and the flight bag of her colleague.

Dave Oney, the public affairs officer for the US Marshals, later claimed the Marshals were serving a fugitive warrant for state charges in Minnesota; Grazzini-Rucki had a warrant for parental deprivation for her role in hiding her two oldest daughters.

“There was a warrant issued by Dakota County.  Dakota County is a member of our task force. You can probably get more information from the Dakota County Sheriff’s office or the Lakeville Police Department where the crime was originally committed. There was a Federal UFAP (Unlawful Flight to Avoid Prosecution) warrant in place but that was dismissed once she was arrested in Florida.  She was only booked into the jail on the state charges.”  Oney said in a statement to explain the 2015 incident.

But the warrant for her arrest for parental deprivation was sealed, and as such, she could not be a fugitive as she wasn’t supposed to know about the warrant.

Oney and the US Marshals have never explained why the Marshals involved itself in a low-level crime- parental deprivation carries with it presumed probation- and why they claimed they were serving a fugitive warrant when the warrant was sealed.

One of the Marshals who was part of the SWAT team which detained Grazzini-Rucki in 2015 was Sean Newlin.

Newlin was also involved in serving a warrant on North Carolina mom Kristi Newberry-Brooks, who like Grazzini-Rucki, was hiding her children from their father with both saying their children’s fathers were abusive.

In both cases, family courts forced the children to live with their father- in the Brooks’ case the allegation was molestation- despite overwhelming evidence of abuse.

Both Oney and Newlin did not respond to an email for comment.

An email to James Backstrom, the prosecutor for Dakota County which initiated the previous warrant, was also left unreturned.

An email to Judge Karen Asphaug, who is overseeing Grazzini-Rucki’s case, was also left unreturned.

In November, Judge Jill Flaskamps-Halbrooks overturned the penalty portion of Grazzini-Rucki’s sentence; despite parental deprivation carrying presumed probation and Grazzini-Rucki having no prior criminal history, Judge Karen Asphaug not only sentenced Grazzini-Rucki to the maximum, one year and one day, but she ordered her to serve the remaining portion of her sentence fifteen days at a time over a period of six years.