Federal agents arrested a man, who prosecutors described as an “alleged drug attack,” after asking for a passport with the identity of a dead infant, authorities said.
Howard Farley Jr., 72, escaped police for more than 35 years after being accused of carrying out large-scale drug operations using the southern line’s rail system. He was the only one of the 74 defendants who failed to be apprehended after the Grand Jury in Nebraska returned an indictment back in 1985, authorities said.
But Farley’s escape time ended Tuesday when federal agents showed up at his 3,000-strong home in Weirsdale, Florida. Agents arrested him while trying to board a private jet in a hangar at his home, the U.S. Central District Attorney’s Office says.
Farley was charged with passport fraud. He will not prosecute the original drug case.
A spokesman for the U.S. Nebraska Prosecutor’s Office confirmed to NBC News that the indictment was dropped seven years ago. No further information was submitted.
Federal investigators tracked down Farley after applying for a passport in February with the name, date of birth, and social security number of an unrelated infant who died in 1955.
The child, identified by the initials TB, was from Lake Worth and died at 3 months of age, according to the criminal complaint.
Investigators found that Farley used the identity of the deceased infant when he applied for a passport in 1987, 1998 and 2008, the complaint said. According to the complaint, he also used it to obtain a driver’s license and a fraudulent pilot’s license.
The fingerprint comparison confirmed that the man living in the house was a suspect in the drug trade he was looking for, prosecutors said.
Farley lived with an unknown Vietnamese woman and her passport revealed that she traveled to the country in 2018, the complaint says. A gun was discovered in the home, prosecutors said.
Passport fraud is punishable by up to 10 years in prison. The bond negotiation is scheduled for Thursday.
“He will maintain his innocence and we will vigorously defend this case,” said his attorney, Fritz Scheller.