A manhunt for a fugitive wanted in multiple states continues in the West Ash Creek Road area between Chadron and Crawford, but Dawes County Sheriff Karl Dailey remains optimistic that Justin Pierce will be captured in the next several hours.
The manhunt began about 5:30 Monday evening when sheriff’s deputies tried to serve arrest warrants from Utah on Pierce, who also uses the name Justin Beck, at the West Ash Creek Road residence where he’s been living.
Instead of surrendering, Pierce bolted for his pickup and drove off. Dailey says the pickup was found abandoned on a logging trail a few miles away. Deputies, Nebraska state troopers, and two Game and Parks conservation officers then cordoned off a roughly four-square mile area where Dailey felt Pierce was holed up.
A State Patrol plane with night-search equipment flew a search grid over the area, but failed to find him while ground trackers lost Pierce’s trail when he entered an area burned in this summer’s fires.
Dailey says while Pierce is not considered dangerous, four stolen rifles were seized from his home. Dailey also says both Nevada and Utah have felony warrants out for him in major fraud and theft cases, with authorities in Washington state also interested in Pierce.
He’s described as 6-1, 160 pounds, and Dailey asks that anyone with information about Pierce contact law enforcement.