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Utah immigration lawyer accused of making threats amid weeks of erratic behavior

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Utah immigration lawyer Aaron Tarin has been charged with making a terroristic threat after weeks of erratic behavior, according to police and prosecutors.

Salt Lake County Jail

HERRIMAN — A no bail arrest warrant has been issued for a prominent immigration attorney in Utah whose increasingly erratic behavior, according to police and prosecutors, culminated with him making terroristic threats against his wife in addition to making several bizarre statements.

Aaron Tarin, 40, of Herriman, was arrested three times over two weeks in late May through June. On Thursday he was charged in 3rd District Court with making a terroristic threat, a second-degree felony, and stalking, a third-degree felony.

Tarin, who holds both U.S. and Mexican citizenship, has been a member of the Utah State Bar since 2008. He has served as the executive chairman of the Utah Chapter of the American Lawyers Association, is a member of the Utah Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and serves on the Legal Panel for the American Civil Liberties Union of Utah.

According to charging documents, Tarin’s ex-wife reported to police that Tarin was engaging in “concerning behavior” from May 18 to May 29, including sending her “multiple angry emails and videos ... that talked about a ‘leprechaun chase’ and that ‘everybody needs to be ready for it.’”

On May 26, Tarin sent an email to his ex-wife and her family talking about the “Tarin Leprechaun,” the charges state.

Tarin and his wife divorced in 2017 after 14 years of marriage, according to court documents.

The guardian ad litem in Tarin’s divorce told police that she noticed a change in Tarin’s behavior starting in March. On May 28, he left her five voicemails stating he would have a car parked in front of his ex-wife’s house “and it would be like a private investigator and recording her,” according to the charges.

On May 29, Tarin allegedly parked a GMC Yukon Denali outside his ex-wife’s home.

“The vehicle had multiple microphones, cameras and a computer inside. There was also wiring and several unknown items taped to the inside of the vehicle. The bomb squad was dispatched to make sure there were no explosives in or on the vehicle,” the charges state.

After dropping off the vehicle, police received information that Tarin was headed to the Salt Lake City International Airport, possibly to flee the country, according to the charging documents.

Police reported finding Tarin at the airport attempting to buy a plane ticket. During his arrest for investigation of stalking and disorderly conduct, he told officers he had a bomb in his luggage and at his house he had drugs, “strippers tied up in his closet and children he had sexually assaulted in his basement,” the charges state.

A police K-9 was called to the scene but no bomb was found.

Police also went to his Herriman house and found “several suspicious items ... in plain view. Several notes enticing law enforcement officers were taped to his windows. The inside of his home was a mess and it appeared several electronic items were placed for surveillance throughout the home,” according to a search warrant affidavit. Officers noted they were worried that Tarin had left a “trap” for police inside the house.

After entering the home, no traps, drugs, abused children or women being held hostage were found, the warrant states.

After he was able to bail out of jail, the next day prosecutors allege in charging documents that Tarin posted “several disturbing videos” to social media, including one that shows “stacks of money and his two passports” and another showing a black Acura and Tarin saying he was going to “Iron Man” the vehicle and turn it into a “private investigator drone.”

On Wednesday, Tarin was arrested for investigation of kidnapping, aggravated assault and forcible sexual abuse for an incident that occurred on June 13.

On that day, a neighbor went to Tarin’s house “because he had been drinking alcohol and he told her that he needed a friend to talk to about current custody issues involving his ex-wife,” according to a police affidavit. But after the woman arrived, Tarin allegedly became “aggressive” with her and began calling her by his ex-wife’s name.

Tarin pulled the woman’s hair “extremely hard,” attempted to pull her clothes off and put his arm across her chest with heavy pressure, according to the affidavit. The woman was able to record some of the alleged assault with her phone.

“Please let me go, please let me go, please let me go, you called me a (expletive) and so many mean things,” the woman is heard saying, according to the affidavit. “You are hurting me, you are hurting me ... please let me go, please let me go.”

After his arrest, Tarin was able to post bail.

The day after the alleged kidnapping, on June 14, Tarin was arrested again after police say he was “dressed in a yellow raincoat acting like an ape,” banging on doors of nearby homes. He was located in the middle of the street holding a large real estate sign and banged his head on the window of the police patrol car after he was arrested for investigation of intoxication and disorderly conduct, the charges state.

In February, Tarin was placed on probation in Coconino County, Arizona, for two counts of disorderly conduct and child endangerment.

Prosecutors say in charging documents that Tarin’s “unstable and volatile behavior over the past month-and-a-half suggest an escalation in his violent behavior.” They also consider him “a significant flight risk” due to his dual citizenship, access to money, multiple passports and multiple cellphones.

Tarin works for the Immigrant Defenders Law Group. His assistant told the Deseret News on Friday that he was not in the office but was expected to be in later, but she refused to answer any other questions.

Defense attorney Greg Skordas said Friday he was asked by Tarin before charges were filed to represent him. Skordas said he was still reading through court filings and getting a handle on the allegations.