Fugitive Apprehension Tools

December 9, 2011

The world has become a much smaller place for criminals as a result of the FBI’s partnership with local law enforcement and our fugitive apprehension efforts.

Audio Transcript

Mollie Halpern: Arthur Morgan III, of New Jersey, is behind bars on charges he murdered his 2-year-old daughter. The toddler’s body was found in a stream in a park in Monmouth County, New Jersey. The FBI was able to obtain an unlawful flight to avoid prosecution, or UFAP, warrant, after Monmouth County authorities filed local homicide charges against Morgan. Special Agent Teddy Miller of the FBI’s Newark Division says the federal warrant is a force multiplier for the law enforcement community.

Teddy Miller: The benefits of having the UFAP, the federal arrest warrant, is it then allows the FBI to deploy all of the resources they have within the agency. That, coupled with the local municipalities, as well as other federal agencies, can bring a lot to the table. And then you can coordinate now with those agencies, and hopefully run a better investigation—and hopefully catch the guy sooner.

Halpern: That’s exactly what happened in the Morgan case. Just six days after the FBI warrant was issued, Morgan was arrested in San Diego, California. Morgan is the latest New Jersey fugitive in custody, but others are still on the run—like Edgardo Sorto. The FBI is working with its law enforcement partners to track down Sorto, who is wanted for allegedly sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl in Manahawkin, New Jersey last July.

Miller: It is a clearly a case that shows the cooperation between the local municipalities and the FBI. This detective didn’t know what we could do for her, but said. ‘You know what; let me call the FBI on the phone.’ I got her on the phone, we said, ‘Come up.’ We listened to what her interest in the case was and said, ‘Listen, this is something we could clearly help you.’ We called the U.S. Attorney’s Office and they got us the UFAP on this guy.

Halpern: You can read more about these and other New Jersey fugitive cases on newark.fbi.gov.

The unlawful flight to avoid prosecution warrant used in the Sorto and Morgan cases is just one of the FBI’s fugitive apprehension tools. Another one, called ‘Project Welcome Home,’ brings fugitives who have fled the country back home to face the American justice system. Take the case of Richard Konadu. The Ghana native was living with his wife in New Jersey back in 2003 when he allegedly shot her in the head multiple times. He left the mother of two dead, escaped U.S. borders, and went on the lam. The FBI’s local law enforcement partners reached out to the Bureau for help. The FBI obtained a provisional arrest warrant, which allows a foreign government—in this case, the Republic of Ghana—to arrest an FBI fugitive. Part of the provisional arrest warrant includes the FBI’s intent to request the fugitive’s extradition. The FBI’s Welcome Home initiative made it possible for the Bureau to coordinate Konadu’s capture and extradition to the United States. Konadu is now back on U.S. soil. He is being held in jail without bail and awaiting trial. Project Welcome Home funded the travel. Special Agent Bryan Travers explains…

Bryan Travers: When a local law enforcement agency has a fugitive overseas, they can certainly go get the fugitive themselves once the host country has arrested the person. The problem is, the local law enforcement agencies don’t always have the money to do so—especially in a smaller town. And, that’s where the FBI comes in. Through Project Welcome Home, the FBI can fund the cost of an agent and a local investigator for two-way travel to and from the host country to go and get the fugitive, and it also funds a one-way ticket for the fugitive back home. And in that way, local law enforcement has access to their fugitives all around the world. They just need to pick up the phone and call the FBI, and we can be there and help them with that.

Halpern: More than 400 FBI fugitives have been returned to the United States from more than 42 countries to face prosecution since Project Welcome Home began in 2004.

Miller: Keep in mind, the world has become a much smaller place for criminals as a result of the FBI’s partnership with local law enforcement and our fugitive apprehension efforts.

Halpern: The FBI is the go-to agency for local law enforcement when they have fugitives who have fled their jurisdiction. Of course, Project Welcome Home isn’t the only way the FBI works with and assists its law enforcement partners. Between the FBI Laboratory, the Evidence Response Teams, the Behavioral Analysis Units, the training we provide, and more, the FBI is a real resource for local law enforcement.

To learn more about the FBI’s fugitive apprehension efforts and to help us catch the bad guys, visit the ‘Most Wanted’ tab on the FBI website at www.fbi.gov. You can also download our Wanted by the FBI podcasts on iTunes. I’m Mollie Halpern of the Bureau. Thanks for listening to Inside the FBI.

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