Daniel Maestas

Salt Lake Posse gang member Daniel Junior Maestas got in an accident last February, was flown to the hospital for his injuries, released the next day, then later was charged with felony automobile homicide.

But Maestas, 35, stayed on the run, despite being told by police earlier this month about a warrant for his arrest.

"He pretty much said he wasn't going to turn himself in," said Salt Lake Metro Gang Unit detective Rick Simonelli on Saturday. "It was, catch me if you can."

Before the warrant, Maestas was videotaped using a walker at the funeral for George Tuiasoa, 26, a passenger in Maestas' Cadillac when Tuiasoa was thrown from the vehicle during a street-racing crash in West Valley City, according to police. Three others also faced charges stemming from the crash.

But Maestas wasn't going to jail, at least not until April 10.

He got married April 4 to Stephanie Romero, the woman with whom he has a little girl. Simonelli said that just a day earlier Romero bailed out of jail after being arrested on warrants.

Simonelli said there is video surveillance of the ceremony, which may result in felony obstruction of justice charges for some at the wedding who may have known Maestas was a wanted man.

This past week police asked Maestas' sister about the wedding and her brother's whereabouts. "She said she didn't know where he was at," Simonelli said. She was booked into jail Thursday on an obstruction charge.

Simonelli said that while they were booking his sister into jail, Maestas, who Simonelli said may have been feeling pressure, turned himself in. At the time Maestas' sister was arrested, she was caring for her brother's little girl. The little girl was taken into state custody, Simonelli said.

The sister eventually bailed out of jail, but then Friday night Maestas' wife, Stephanie Romero, was arrested again. She was also booked into jail on an obstruction charge.

Bail for Maestas on the homicide charge is $250,000, but Simonelli said he cannot bail out on a federal probation violation involving felony possession of a firearm. "He's got a career history of violence as a gang member," said Simonelli, glad Saturday there was "one less" person on the streets he needs to worry about.


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