A Willcox man arrested last month in Alaska on a warrant issued by a federal judge in Tucson in 2019 is on his way back to Arizona courtesy of a court order and the U.S. Marshals Service (USMS).
Phillip Vincent Livesay was taken into custody by federal agents in Alaska on July 28. The details of his arrest are currently sealed at the U.S. District Court in Juneau, but Livesay appeared before Magistrate Judge Matthew Scoble on Thursday for a hearing on whether marshals can transport Livesay back to Arizona where he was convicted in a 2016 drug case.
Court records show Livesay, 40, was released from the Federal Bureau of Prisons in July 2018 after completing a sentence in the 2016 case for conspiracy to possess marijuana with the intent to distribute. He began a three-year term of probation after his release but in February 2019 his probation officer filed a report alleging Livesay violated one or more conditions of probation.
A warrant was issued for Livesay’s arrest the next month when he failed to appear in court to address the probation violation. That warrant remained outstanding until Livesay was taken into custody in Alaska.
During Thursday’s hearing, Scoble authorized the USMS in Alaska to turn over Livesay to their counterparts in Tucson as soon as possible. Once back in Arizona, Livesay will be brought before a U. S. District Judge on the old probation issue, at which time he could be reinstated to probation or ordered back to prison.
This is not the first time the USMS has executed a warrant for Livesay’s arrest. In January 2017, a warrant was issued when Livesay failed to appear for a pretrial hearing in his drug case. He was taken into custody several months later in Willcox, then entered into a plea deal to resolve the charges.
According to the 2016 criminal complaint, those charges stemmed from a traffic stop initiated by a U.S. Border Patrol agent who reported seeing an “erratically” driven vehicle on Interstate 10 west of Benson. The agent claimed the rear passenger window was partially down, which allowed him to see a “burlap bundle” in the backseat.
Livesay, who was driving, and a Mexican national passenger named Jesus Iran Adarga-Trujillo were charged with conspiring to get the 45-pound bundle of marijuana from Cochise County to Tucson in exchange for money. A magistrate judge granted Livesay pretrial release over the objection of the U.S. Attorney’s Office. The same judge issued the 2017 warrant after Livesay failed to appear in court.