Federal agents captured a fugitive “drug kingpin” in Florida after he applied for a passport using the identity of a dead infant, authorities said.
Howard Farley Jr., 72, had eluded police for more than 35 years after he was charged with running a sprawling drug operation that utilized the Southern Line railroad system.
He was the only one among 74 defendants who was not apprehended after a Nebraska grand jury returned an indictment in 1985, authorities said.
Out of 73 people busted in the case, Farley was the only one who was never caught.
For 35 years, Farley allegedly lived on the lam — using the name of a Florida infant who died in 1955.
According to a criminal complaint, Farley stole the identity of an individual identified only as “T.B” who was born in Lake Worth, Fla., in 1954 and died three months later.
But his alleged ruse came to light after the government received an application for passport renewal in February using T.B.’s name, date of birth and Social Security number.
Investigators found the death records for that person, and discovered that T.B.’s Social Security information wasn’t registered until 1983, unusual for someone born in 1954.
Farley was charged with passport fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison. A bond hearing was set for next Thursday.
Farley will not face the original drug trafficking charges. The indictment was dismissed seven years ago, according to a spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Nebraska.
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