Howard D. Farley Jr., 72, was living in Ocala, Florida at the time of his arrest on Wednesday
The alleged Nebraska drug kingpin has been on the run for 35 years after evading the law in 1985
He was found living in Florida after applying for a passport under a dead baby’s identity
Fingerprints were used to link him to his true identity and his criminal past
The only member of the 74-man Nebraska ‘Southern Line’ drug ring to avoid arrest, Farley assumed the identity of a deceased infant to remain on the run
He also used the identity to secure a pilot’s license
He was arrested as he tried to board a private plane at his Florida home
Farley who was also convicted of burglary back in 1970 now faces up to 10 years in jail on charges of passport fraud
A drug kingpin from Nebraska who has been on the run for more than 35 years has finally been arrested after being found living under the identity of a dead baby in Ocala, Florida.
Howard D. Farley Jr., 72, was arrested at his home on Wednesday, ten months after an investigation was sparked when he applied for a passport under the false information.
Farley used the name, date of birth, and social security number of an individual who died as an infant way back in 1954.
Farley appeared to be trying to make a dramatic escape on Wednesday when he was arrested. He reportedly, was trying to board a private plane in a hanger of his house when authorities caught up to him.
The fugitive had a fraudulent pilot’s license that was also issued to him under the false identity he used to evade authorities for 35 years.
In a release from the Department of Justice, Farley is singled out as the ‘kingpin’ of the Southern Line in Nebraska back in the 1980s, which was a railroad line used to distribute narcotics.
He was indicted by a federal grand jury in the District of Nebraska and charged with a narcotics conspiracy in 1985, and was the only one of 74 people indicted that was not apprehended by the authorities.
As law enforcement Farley is believed to have assumed the false identity and disappeared. He has been a fugitive ever since.
If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison for charges related to the passport fraud.
Farley was considered the ‘kingpin’ of a drug trade in Nebraska along the railroad that resulted in 74 indictments; only Farley avoided arrest.
According to a criminal complaint, Farley assumed the identity of a child referred to only as ‘T.B.’ who was born in Lake Worth, Florida, in 1954 and died three months later.
He had used T.B.’s identity to obtain a passport in March 1987, October 1998 and October 2008, and had also got a Florida driver’s license and a pilot’s license, officials say.
He had even used his fraudulent passport to travel to Vietnam in 2018, the complaint reveals.
The decades long subterfuge came to light in February when Farley tried to renew the passport once again, and officials realized that the individual was supposed to be dead.
They found T.B.’s death record, and also that Social Security information for the identity was not registered until 1987, despite the date of birth being in 1954.
A firearm was recovered from Farley’s home Wednesday when a search warrant of the property was executed.
After his arrest, fingerprints were used to link him to his true identity and his criminal past.
According to the Department of Justice, Farley was also arrested and convicted of burglary back in 1970.
The latest case is being investigated by a number of government agencies, including the Department of Transportation and U.S. Department of State’s Diplomatic Security Service.