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U.S. Marshals: Fugitive hid near Pittsburgh for 30 years

A 71-year old man who made it a habit to avoid law enforcement officers for much of his adult life has been arrested. For the last 30 years, the man lived unnoticed in Southwestern Pennsylvania under the assumed name of Jack Hunter. Marijuana charges were filed against him back in 1980, when he was living in Fort Lauderdale. Authorities believe he was part of a conspiracy to import marijuana into his home country of Canada.

According to the man's lawyer at the time, the he was legally involved with the scheme as a government informant working with the United States Customs Service and the Drug Enforcement Administration.

In June 1980, the man feigned a heart attack while in jail and was transferred to Coral Reef Hospital, located in Miami-Dade County. He escaped by asking a guard to remove the shackles from his legs so that he could shower. The guard did as requested and found that the man was gone when he returned to his hospital room.

After making his escape, he and his wife assumed the names of Jack and Angela Hunter and spent the next 30 years living in a rural home in Southwestern Pennsylvania.

The US Marshals Service's Cold Case Fugitive Squad was responsible for discovering new information that led to the man's arrest. A member of the squad discovered information in the 30-year-old files that revealed their assumed names. After initially investigating the Hunters' Pennsylvania home, the marshals learned that they had purchased a home in Homosassa, Florida in June 2009. When marshals arrested him at his Florida home, he reportedly said, "You're right, you got me. I have been looking over my shoulder all these years."

Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, "Fugitive hid in Pittsburgh region for 30 years, authorities say," Elwin Green, 1/16/2011

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