S.F. informant arrested in N.C.

A key informant in the case against the alleged killer of a San Francisco police officer was arrested in North Carolina last week after disappearing from federal custody earlier this year.

Marvin Jeffrey Jr. was arrested in Raleigh, N.C., on Friday for violating the terms of his release, Chief Deputy United States Marshal Tom Figmik said Wednesday. Jeffrey is an informant in the San Francisco district attorney’s case against David Hill, who allegedly gunned down San Francisco police Officer Isaac Espinoza with a semiautomatic weapon in the early hours of Easter 2004.

Police say Jeffrey sold Hill the AK-47 with which he allegedly shot Espinoza to death. On Wednesday, District Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Debbie Mesloh said her office is not charging Jeffrey on any crimes, but that he is listed as a witness in the prosecution of Hill.

Jeffrey pleaded guilty to bank fraud in San Francisco several months ago, FBI spokeswoman Larae Quy said Wednesday. He was released on his own recognizance and disappeared.

Authorities became aware of Jeffrey’s whereabouts after police in Wilson, N.C., 35 miles east of Raleigh, began investigating someone named Jason Stevens Jr. for car break-ins. They made contact with Stevens, but released him for lack of evidence, Marcum said.

Wilson police Detective Luke Marcum said that after running Stevens’ name, police learned it was an alias for Jeffrey. Local police discovered that Jeffrey was wanted on federal charges, including identity theft in San Francisco and Las Vegas, as well as his testimony in more than one murder case.

Quy said Wednesday that a North Carolina state trooper recognized Jeffrey during a traffic stop, where the trooper learned his address.

Federal marshals and local police finally located Jeffrey in a residence in Raleigh, Marcum said. They arrested him after he unsuccessfully tried to hide in a bedroom.

“A lot of our best informants have been in the trenches. A lot of them come forward in terms of righting their wrongs. Oftentimes these informants are extraordinarily helpful, but oftentimes informants can be problematic in terms of prosecution because their credibility is attacked,” Mayor Gavin Newsom said Wednesday.

Jeffrey allegedly broke into cars in Wilson and Raleigh, Marcum said. “He was busting in the window and stealing wallets, credit cards, currency, cameras, radios, stuff of that nature, out of the cars,” Marcum said.

Staff Writer Bonnie Eslinger

contributed to this report.

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