Fenton HS graduate Owen M. Cypher appointed as U.S. Marshal for Eastern Michigan District

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A Fenton High School graduate who went on to become a member of President Bill Clinton’s Marine One helicopter security detail has been appointed U.S. Marshal for the Eastern District of Michigan.

Owen Cypher, 43, was nominated by President Donald Trump in August 2019 and confirmed by the U.S. Senate on July 2. Cypher, who has served as a deputy U.S. Marshal in Detroit since 2016, took command with little fanfare this month shortly after his confirmation. Cypher appeared with other top federal law enforcement officials during a news gathering Wednesday in Detroit.

“It is a tremendous honor to be recognized by the President for a life of service to this nation and appointed to serve as United States Marshal for the district in which I was born and raised,” Cypher said.

Cypher is the oldest of four children. His father works in residential and commercial construction. His mother is a retired GM plant worker.

After graduating from Fenton High School in 1995, Cypher enlisted in the Marine Corps. While attending military police officer training, he was selected to serve on the security detail for President Clinton’s Marine One helicopter.

“There are two Marine Corps guards that stand at the bottom of Marine One,” Cypher said. “The one on the left is the crew chief. The one on the right is the guard. I stood on the right.”

“It was an incredible honor,” Cypher said, adding that President Clinton was a pleasure to work for. Cypher said the four-year assignment enabled him to visit six countries in Europe and Africa as well as 43 U.S. states.

Cypher received an honorable discharge in 1999, returned to Michigan and studied criminal justice at the University of Michigan in Flint. He also worked for General Motors’ executive protection unit at Renaissance Center in Detroit. Cypher holds a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from American Military University.

He joined the U.S. Marshals Service in 2003 and worked in a variety of key positions in Columbus, Ohio; Tampa, Fla.; Chicago; and Kansas City, Mo.; and Detroit. He was shot in Columbus in 2006 while executing an arrest warrant on a dangerous fugitive. For his actions during the encounter, he was awarded the Marshals Service Purple Heart Medal and its highest honor, the Robert Forsyth Valor Award.

Cypher said he became a candidate for U.S. Marshal after his sister, Catharine Cypher, an assistant to Presidential Counselor Kellyanne Conway, told the White House about her brother’s record in the Marines and Marshals Service. The White House asked for his resume, the Department of Justice interviewed him, and President Trump nominated him in August 2019. The Senate confirmed him on July 2.

He succeeds Acting U.S. Marshal Mark Jankowski, who assumed command of the U.S. Marshals Service in Detroit after Marshal Robert Grubbs retired in August 2018. Jankowski, who was set to retire in August, agreed to stay on for an additional year to serve as chief deputy marshal.

The U.S. Marshals Service provides security at five federal courthouses in eastern Michigan, protects federal judges, federal prosecutors, and seated jurors. It also pursues federal fugitives, transports prisoners, investigates sex offenders and missing persons cases and conducts tactical operations.

The Eastern District covers the eastern side of the state from Ohio to the Mackinac Bridge.

Cypher said his goals are to improve relations between the Marshal’s Service and the community “and to further the agency’s mission by protecting the federal courts and making our community a much safer place to live and work.”



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