FBI still watching for one of its most wanted in Utah

Published: Monday, Feb. 14 2011 11:00 p.m. MST

SALT LAKE CITY — One of the FBI's most wanted fugitives may be back in Utah.

Jason Derek Brown is wanted for murder and armed robbery in Arizona. Brown, who once lived in the Sugar House area, has been on the run since 2004, when he allegedly shot and killed an armored car guard in Arizona.

Someone who knows Brown reported seeing him in South Salt Lake about a year ago.

"He's somebody that doesn't want to go to jail and will stop at anything not to go to jail," said FBI Special Agent Lance Leising, who is assigned to the Phoenix Division.

Brown is one of the FBI's 10 Most Wanted Fugitives, at list that includes Osama Bin Laden.

Fluent in French, highly educated and well-traveled, Brown isn't the typical criminal.

"Somebody who had little to no criminal history, had a life of cons but most of them white collar crimes and then graduated to a flat out assassination of an armored car guard," Leising said of Brown.

That armored car guard was Robert Keith Palomares, 24. In November, 2004, Palomares was shot in the head multiple times, at point-blank range, while walking out of an Arizona movie theater with a bag of money.

His brother, who spoke from his home in Coachella, Calif., said the crime was cold blooded.

"He stalked the routes, he planned it very well and it was a sick crime. … It's just difficult how somebody could get away with such a crime," Derak Palomares said.

Before the shooting, Brown was in Utah, planning the crime, according to the FBI. He passed a background check and bought a .45 caliber handgun at a gun store in Kearns.

Authorities say Utah appeals to Brown, who was raised in the LDS Church. He loves to ski and be in the outdoors. He also has a lot of associates in the state.

"He could absolutely be in Utah. It's someplace he's comfortable with and someplace he'd probably go to when times get hard for him," Leising said.

Palomares hopes the law will catch up to Brown. His mother lost her battle with cancer in 2007 and never lived to see that happen. Palomares still believes that day will come.

"For Jason Derek Brown to get caught, it would help my brother rest in peace, and it would bring a lot of ease to my family," Palomares said.

Brown has been featured on "American's Most Wanted." Investigators say the case has generated more tips than any other fugitive profiled on that show.

The FBI is offering a reward up to $100,000 for information leading to Brown's arrest.

E-mail:syi@desnews.com

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