Utah Fugitives: Notorius Gang Member David Orrante, A Parolee Released After Multiple Convictions

A parolee who should have been taken into custody late last year when police found drugs in his car is the focus of this week’s segment of “At large: Utah’s Fugitives.”

David Orrante, 40, is on the Metro Gang unit’s Ten Most Wanted list. Orrante is a gang member with violent tendencies. He has been paroled from prison three times. Each time he has committed another crime or absconded.

Parole board hearing officer: You got about eight other misdemeanor convictions on your adult record as well as two felonies. You have arrests in California, Nevada, and Utah.

During a January 2, 2014, original parole hearing Orrante had this to say to the hearing officer.

“I’ve never been much of a criminal.”

These are the many faces of David Joseph Orrante, inmate photos 2News Investigates obtained from the Utah Department of Corrections. Orrante’s first stint in prison stemmed from a burglary conviction in California. This is what he told a parole hearing officer about that burglary.

“It was me getting in an argument with my parents and me entering my parents, the same house I was living in at that point and getting my clothes out of the house and then they called the cops on me because they didn’t want me in the house cause I was using drugs. But it wasn’t like I just robbed a random house.”

Orrante had served approximately 8 years in prison. On July 15, 2014, the parole board gave him his first shot at parole.

“This is an individual who has continued to commit crimes every time he’s been released,” says Sergeant Melody Cutler with the Unified Police Department.

It would not take long for him to re-offend.

“I got out for two weeks and that’s when I assaulted my ex-wife,” Orrante told another parole board hearing officer.

That assault occurred on July 29, 2014, in West Valley City.

Parole board hearing officer: Witnesses stated they could hear the commotion and could hear a female screaming.

West Valley City police were dispatched to a domestic violence call near Granger High School. They found Orrante’s wife screaming in the backseat of a car. Orrante did not offer up any details about what happened and then left the scene.

Parole board hearing officer: Her right leg was broken in two places and her lower jaw was also broken and she was missing several teeth. She was found to have a broken right femur, tibia, and lower jaw. At the hospital you were read your Miranda Rights, which you stated you understood and then blurted out that I don’t think I should talk to you, followed by, Did I kill her? Is she okay?

Orrante blamed it on prescription pills and alcohol and told the hearing officer this, “The last thing I remember is I took the Klonopin and I drank a beer after being up for about four days a time, and when I came to, she had been assaulted in the back of the car, I didn’t even know that I’d assaulted her I was the one that went and tried to get her help.”

Convicted of aggravated assault with serious bodily harm, he was sent back to prison. He was ordered to pay his now ex-wife more than $17,000 dollars in restitution. But Orrante would soon show he had a flagrant disregard for the rules on the inside.

Parole Board Hearing Officer Craig Burr: The one thing I am concerned about is you have fifteen disciplinaries, what’s that all about?

Orrante was caught with a weapon in his cell, it turned out to be a shank. He had an explanation for that.

Parole Board Hearing Officer Craig Burr: What was the purpose behind that?

“There was a lot of violence back there at the time so at the time, I felt that I needed a weapon,” Orrante said.

That was not the only thing Orrante had while he was in prison. Parole hearing recordings reveal the disciplinary actions also included having porn and alcohol. How he got what is considered contraband was not known in time for this report. Burr further said, “You’ve also got write-ups for having brew in your cell.”

To which Orrante readily admitted, “I did have brew in my cell.”

During a different parole hearing another hearing officer questioned Orrante if he was still a part of a Security Threat Group, known as an “STG.” Orrante, a documented member of Silent Aryan Culture known as SAC, which is a White Supremacist prison gang was blunt.

Parole board hearing officer: Are you still a member of the gang? Orrante was honest telling her that yes, in fact, he is still a gang member.

Parole board hearing officer: And so, you don’t see that as problematic?

Orrante said, “No, it’s very problematic.”

Despite all this, plus having served several years in prison, the Board of Pardons and Parole granted Orrante parole a second time on May 4, 2021. However, within months, Orrante violated the terms of his parole agreement and wound up back in prison.

After serving more time, he was granted parole a third time on December 7, 2021. Within days of his release, he was pulled over by a local police agency we are not naming. The officers found methamphetamine in his car. But he was allowed to go on his way and has not been seen since. It is not clear if Adult Probation and Parole was ever notified, and it remains to be seen why he was not arrested on a parole violation. A question we posed to Sgt. Cutler, who said, “They knew he was on parole, why he wasn’t arrested, I wish I could answer that question for you. I don’t know because it’s a clear violation. Any police officer knows when they find a parolee that’s got drugs or is violating any law, that’s going to be a violation of their parole. Usually, the first step at that point is to contact their parole officer. If you can’t get ahold of them, it’s very easy to book them into jail and have that parole officer notified so they can go ahead and take the next steps they need to do to revoke their parole.”

The Metro Gang Unit needs your help to find David Orrante. He is 5 feet 9 inches tall and weighs around 190 pounds. He has brown hair and brown eyes. He was born on October 29, 1981. His alias is “Nasty.” If you have any information about David Orrante, call the Salt Lake Metro Gang Unit at 385-468-9768. You can remain anonymous. Or you can email a tip to: GANGTIPS@UPDSL.ORG

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