November 3, 2014

Jeffrey Hanson Returned to the U.S. to Face Kidnapping Charge

As a result of coordinated, international law enforcement efforts, Jeffrey Hanson, 46, yesterday arrived in the United States, in the custody of members of the FBI’s Seattle Safe Streets Task Force. At 2:00 p.m. today, Hanson will make his first appearance in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, California, to face a charge of international parental kidnapping. The FBI continues to work with the Department of Justice and Department of State to reunite 9-year-old Billy Hanson with his mother.

The Niue Police Department arrested Hanson on Wednesday, October 29, on his sailboat Draco, which was docked on Niue shores in violation of Niue immigration and customs laws by not having sought proper admittance through Niue immigration and customs officials. The Niue police knew of the warrant for Hanson’s arrest after the FBI’s legal attaché office in Canberra, Australia, passed the missing person and wanted fliers to the Pacific Transnational Crime Coordination Center (PTCCC), a multi-national law enforcement network, in which the Niue Police Department is a member. Niue police publicized the search for Hanson in the country and alert members of the public provided the crucial tip that led authorities to Billy and Jeffrey Hanson.

“We are grateful to law enforcement authorities in Niue for their exceptional efforts in finding Billy Hanson and taking Jeffrey Hanson in to custody,” said Special Agent in Charge Frank Montoya, Jr. of the FBI’s Seattle Field Office. “Their actions underscore the value of the FBI’s partnerships around the world. These partnerships allow us to work effectively to uphold the rule of law and ensure justice is served.”

The FBI asked for the assistance of FBI offices down the West Coast, in Hawaii and Alaska, and in Mexico and Australia in spreading the word of the search widely, including locations where investigators had information suggesting Jeffrey Hanson had previously traveled.

The investigation was led jointly by the FBI’s Seattle Safe Streets Task Force (SSSTF), whose many task force officers include members of the Seattle Police Department Major Crimes Task Force. The Hazleton Police Department, the FBI’s Philadelphia and Los Angeles Field Offices, the Port of Seattle Police Department, the U.S. Coast Guard, and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children collaborated on the investigation from the beginning. The FBI also values the tremendous assistance of the New Zealand Police, New Zealand Customs Service, and Immigration New Zealand.