Wanted felon caught with assault rifle

Seth Backus

Seth Backus

COTTONWOOD — Cottonwood police arrested a wanted felon who was in possession of an assault rifle Sunday morning, said Cottonwood Police Sgt. Monica Kuhlt.

Cottonwood PD responded to a report of “threats” at the 400 Block of North 11th Street Sunday at 11 a.m.

“A resident said he was threatened by a white male in his 20’s with numerous tattoos only known as ‘Seth’,” Kuhlt stated in a news release. “Officers believed the victim was talking about 29-year-old Cottonwood resident, Seth Daniel Backus.”

Kuhlt said Backus already had felony warrants out of Gila County and a misdemeanor warrant out of Camp Verde so officers were already searching for him.

According to Cottonwood PD, officers spotted Backus in the area carrying a large black canvas case slung over his shoulder.

“Backus fled but tossed the black case during the foot pursuit,” Kuhlt stated. “Officers were able to catch and apprehend Backus and retrieved the black case. It contained a black Colt M4 .22 LR with scopes but Backus said he didn’t know anything about it. Backus was arrested and charged with being a prohibited possessor in possession of a firearm/weapon, the felony and misdemeanor warrants.”

Officers ran the serial number on the rifle but it didn’t come back stolen, according to Kuhlt.

“However, there has been a rash of burglaries throughout the Verde Valley as of lately,” Kuhlt stated.

“Based on the totality of circumstances it is more probable than not Backus came into possession of this firearm through illicit means,” Kuhlt said.

If you have information on any recent burglaries, contact Silent Witness at 800-932-3232.

Information provided by Cottonwood Police Dept.

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