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Charges Range From Assault, To Burglary, To Drug Violations

CONCORD, N.H. -- A married New Hampshire couple has been arrested in Vermont on parole violation and arrest warrants.

Daren Gragg, 31, was arrested Tuesday in Rutland, Vt., on an outstanding 2006 New Hampshire parole violation stemming from a conviction for a first-degree assault with a firearm.

Toni Gragg, 36, was arrested in Newport Center, Vt., on multiple arrest warrants issued by Hillsborough, Merrimack and Rockingham counties in New Hampshire. The warrants are for theft, burglary, and narcotics violations.
In 1997, Daren Gragg, suspected leader of a Derry-based street gang called Impact, was jailed on charges that he beat a teenager and forced him into a cold refrigerator. The assault conviction stems from his firing a shotgun loaded with birdshot at a 17-year-old in Manchester.

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NEWPORT, Vt. (AP) _ A New Hampshire man arrested in Vermont as a fugitive from justice was one week short of completing a five-week course to become a guard for the state Department of Corrections, officials said.

Daren Gragg, 31, was using the name of Michael Finney and had been hired to work at the Northern State Correctional Facility in Newport, officials said.

Corrections Commissioner Rob Hofmann said Gragg's "wholly manufactured identity" helped hide his real background.

"I find it incredible he thought he could get away with this indefinitely," Hofmann said.

Corrections officials had used the driver's license Gragg presented and a Social Security Number to do a background check. Officials also called the references Gragg listed, Hofmann said.

"We have to learn more about the case," Hofmann said. "Was it identity theft or identity construction?"

Deputy U.S. Marshal Brian Hughes of the Concord, N.H., office said Gragg, as Finney, had completed four weeks of training at the Vermont Corrections Academy and had one week to go.

Gragg's wife, Toni, 36, was arrested Tuesday in Newport Center on multiple New Hampshire warrants.

Hughes said the service received a number of calls about the couple after their photos appeared Tuesday morning on the front page of the Caledonian Record newspaper, which circulates in northeastern Vermont and parts of northern New Hampshire. Officials wouldn't say what caused them to believe the Graggs were in the area.

After his arrest, Daren Gragg was taken to the state prison in Concord, N.H. Toni Gragg is being held in Vermont as a fugitive from justice in New Hampshire.

In 1997, Daren Gragg was suspected to be leader of a Derry, N.H.-based street gang called Impact. He was jailed on charges that he beat a teenager and forced him into a cold refrigerator. The assault conviction stems from his firing a shotgun loaded at a teenager in Manchester.

Toni Gragg is wanted in southern New Hampshire on drug charges.
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